We are moving to Washington!

so, it’s official.  we are about to settle down!  we have been on the road for almost six months.  we had planned for it to be a little bit longer.  we thought we may travel for a year, possibly more.  but we had an accident with the trailer a month ago.  and sometimes the plans you make for yourself pale in comparison to what God has had planned for you from the beginning.  about our trailer, we were in san francisco, and just a few miles past a big bridge, the axle and studs that the right tires were on just sheared off.  we were stranded on the side of the highway for several hours, praying and trying to get help from so many different sources, until we had to just unhitch and drive away from our sweet little trailer on the side of a major highway.  it was a super frustrating day with various companies saying they couldn’t get us off the highway until one flatbed tow truck driver used every trick he had to get that trailer up on his truck and transport it to the nearest repair shop.  they’ve had to rebuild the whole axle and suspension.  we had everything checked for durability and safety before and along the journey, but sometimes things just happen.  so we’ve been without the trailer for the last month, sleeping on my mama’s floor and talking through endless scenerios; trying to figure out the best plan for our family in the in the midst of our adventure.  we have had quite a bit of inconsistency recently and it has been pretty wearing on us.  we looked into buying another trailer, but truly we wanted to simplify, not buy more!  and plus we still had to fix ours, we couldn’t just leave it on the side of the road.  and we talked about finishing our trip staying in hotels, but that sounded like too much inconsistency for the children.  we haven’t slept much since we started the trip (we sneak a few hours here and there) but having everyone in one room/space really is quite the lesson in patience and being content in any circumstances!  here is some good… we don’t want for much now and our expectations about what a “normal, nice life” could be has really evolved.  when we bought our house and began building a life in southern california five years ago, we realized we had done it without a lot of dreaming and making our “must have” list to go by.  we just figured that when we got pregnant with our second baby, that it was time to buy a house in surburbia that we could barely afford and work a lot and try to be happy.  it just didn’t work for us.  so now that we have been separated from any sort of “real house” for six months with only the bare necessities to live with, we absolutely know that we won’t be filling our future home with stuff just because we have the room to do so.  we will be extrememely intentional about our purchases, and will most likely thrift or build everything we will need, and do it sparingly.  we have loved being so close to one another for storytime and playing and middle of the night snuggling.  but we also miss our sleep!  it’s been all six of us some nights in a double size bed, and most nights atleast four of us.  we already ordered ourselves a new california king size mattress (found a great one on sale on overstock and already have it set to ship)!  we may not have a bed frame or a headboard or a dresser for a while, but we are gonna have a comfy mattress to all pile on to!  i’m pretty excited to be able to have a full size kitchen again too.  i miss cooking!  and we will be in cooler temperatures so we look forward to hunkering down, watching the rain fall, and cooking and baking yummy smelling things in the kitchen.  it’s sure been a challenge to eat healthy while traveling, especially for six people, and one (our little brandon) who is gluten and dairy sensitive.  i want to be able to fuel their little bodies better and grow a lot of our own organic vegetables, have our chickens for eggs and hopefully do some goat milking on our little homestead!  so back to our traveling, yes, a lot of the go-go-go was challenging and soul stretching.  but we all have grown so much.  gracie has matured and really taken a leadership role with her siblings.  she is reading and has loves the little house on the prairie!  we feel a lot of similarities in the emotions the girls feel in the story, it has been a sweet bonding thing for her and i.  she is such an amazing helper and little mama with clementine and mabel.  brandon has changed the most we think.  he used to be so shy and timid and he has grown to be so very brave!  we each have spirit names and his is “brave bear” and he loves to prove it to us every day!  he is a darling one, such a charmer, a protector and a true gentleman to ladies.  clementine is as fiesty as ever.  she is quite the cuddler and likes to be with me nonstop, her and i are pretty much inseparable.  when she watches gracie, though, we see her wanting to be just like her, echoing her every move; they have the most tender little sisterhood.  mabel is already seven months old and crawling everywhere!  she is just a bundle of sweetness.  it is just a blessing to be able to to see their relationships growing so much with one another.  this season of living all in one small space, we believe, has given them the foundation for them to be so close always.  while we know we are ready to settle down for now, we will absolutely travel again, we already have a trip planned in the spring!!!  we are addicted to adventuring!  this past season of life will be forever remembered in our hearts as the happiest times.  these are the days!  on this note, i did want to share that i have often recently felt that it may seem to outsiders that we had “failed” by not finishing the year.  that we needed to keep traveling to show ‘them’ that we really achieved something huge to be proud of!  to prove that we didn’t stop short.  but, donny and i talk about this all the time and feel that we absolutely achieved what we set out for.  we wanted to show our children the country… to have them walk on golden sandy beaches, to run through a field of dandelions and wild flowers, to dip their feet in cold mountain streams, to see wild animals in nature, to climb a redwood tree, to see the stars, to walk through forests and find enchanted meadows, to see glaciers.  we saw all that and more!  we wanted to simplify everything and just have fun together.  we wanted to be close.  we wanted to experience life changing events.  we wanted to see how other people lived and find what would eventually be the place we would call home.  and now we have.

about our house!!  we will be moving to the outskirts of bellingham, washington (all the way up there, almost to canada)!  our previous plans were for us to move to austin, texas at the end of this trip.  but as we traveled, our eyes were opened to the pacific northwest and we just fell in love with it.  never before had we experienced seasons as a family.  we can’t wait!  we still love texas so much and plan to visit often… we already miss the people we were looking forward to calling neighbors, that’s the heartbreaking part.  ya’ll will just have to save us some buttermilk pie and fried okra and great big huge texas sized hugs for when we visit for a few weeks in the spring!  and you know you are always welcome to visit our prouty homestead.

so about our new homestead!!!  we have a few acres surrounding our little house.  lots of apple and cherry trees, one big giant tree in front with a rocking horse and a rope swing, our land backing up to forests and farmland, a big chicken coop, a sunroom/greenhouse along the side of the house, an outdoor bathtub (big enough for all the babies) for bubble baths in the great wide open.  one bedroom for donny and i, one room for the kids (the big kids all still want to share a room!) and a room for our schooling/craft room/happiness room.  donny will have a big workshop and he couldn’t be more excited.  he has lots of things on his list of things he has always wanted to built.   maybe a boat someday.  we will keep things simple.  we will have chickens, and goats, perhaps a few sheep. and a farm dog.  maybe a kitten.  we will all have comfortable beds and the quilts i made them while i was overdue with mabel.  i want one big huge farm table in the kitchen for dinners with people we love who will visit us to share stories over and do lots of projects.  we don’t care about dining chairs much (maybe we will get a picnic table?) but we will surely need a few bookcases for all the vintage schooling books we scored along our journey!  and i may need a lovely quilt cabinet, maybe donny will build it.  i am very very excited to get my sewing machine back out again!  i caught the quilting bug at the tail end of my pregnancy with mabel and i have been looking forward to having a large space to put all our fabrics and supplies out on.  things like that were tough in the trailer.  but with every negative, came a positive.  i didn’t have room or time to sew in the there, but there was never any time lacking in closeness.  we did a lot of reading.  and using our imaginations.  and when we were going crazy inside, we would just bundle up and go on a nature adventure.  even when we were out and about, we were never too far from one another.

we learned what we want out of life.  experiences that shape the soul.  not the aquiring of stuff.  we want our kids to remember that we chose them first.  and that we also chose one another:  donny and i have a love that is deeper and stronger now that when we got married.  we have accepted one another for who we are and there is such a peace there.  we were just existing for so long, partners but not with a love on fire, and now we have that.  our fights are never long and because we have had to work out so many disagreements in a loving tone because of being in front of the children all day and night, every day, we have learned to speak much more kindly.  we have had to sit back and enjoy the unpredictable ride.  to be still, rather than making noise just to fill the space.  i have learned to submit wholeheartedly.  “in his heart, a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” -proverbs 16:9.  i have had to release control over so much and it has been good practice (for my previously OCD self).  we lived without any personal or private time for a long time.  we learned we can be selfless, but it is very hard to do that while having expectations about things.  like it is better to not expect to get a full night of sleep, most likely it won’t happen and that’s okay.  because that’s just the season of life we are in.  and our babies are healthy and alive and we are lucky and blessed enough to be this close to them at all times.  we know the season will end at some point so we must embrace the now.

we move in one week!  we are taking this next week to gather up all our belongings from this area here and will be praying that our trailer is ready to go for us to hitch up in san francisco on our way up to washington and that it can be a great little guest house for our closest friends that want to visit.  if it isn’t ready this week, we will get her up there somehow the next trip.  either way, we will be able to call our little house up there in bellingham our home by the end of october!  we are going to take the winter to recover.  i will be working here and there but mostly we want to just unwind, we’ve had quite a whirlwind.  we look forward to making memories to our new home and watching the seasons change.  to read by the fireplace, watch for deer out the back, to garden and tend to our land, to cut down our own christmas tree from a forest and decorate with popcorn strings and homemade ornaments.  to play in a rainstorm. we are hoping it may even snow.  we need a good dance party too…  we tried it in the trailer but it sure bounced around a lot and we needed an open dance floor.

we can’t thank you all enough for the prayers sent our way and the stories you have shared with us of hope, wisdom, perseverance and encouragement!!!  we have read every word and i look forward to having some time in this next season of snuggly life to sit down and write a lot of you back from proper thank you letters for your kindness.  if we can share anything with all of you, it is to just go after your dreams!!!  don’t just sit there, waiting for life to be different.  don’t be afraid to show your kids how much they mean to you by making a drastic change towards a happier life.  even if it’s just in starting with something little.  like choosing to play with them instead of playing with your phone for ten minutes.  those will most likely be the most treasured ten minutes of both your days. i tell this to myself all the time too.  it’s a process.  but i am happy to say that things are surely turning out much more beautifully than i ever imagined they could be.

here’s a few photos from an evening of family time up in half moon bay, caifornia.  they took a driftwood teepee as their pirate ship and gracie made her own tiny one.  the girls ran in the ocean and mabel felt the sand on her toes.  brandon tried to figure out how that teepee was made.  we stayed until it was almost dark and we hiked everyone back, sandy and grumbly and cold.  it was hard, and far, carrying two kids each plus various bags and blankets.  but we have these beautiful snippets of memories here.  so grateful for these times.

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This entry was posted in our family adventures, our journey to simplification, our life on the road, Personal Stuff. Bookmark the permalink.

70 Responses to We are moving to Washington!

  1. Katie says:

    You are an inspiration. I would love to do this with our family at some point. We are very fortunate in our home and our belongings, but too much of our daily life is spent shifting, sorting and tidying objects and things. I always love free things and thrifted things, and think that we can pass them on when we are finished, but that is hard once you grow fond of them, so I think it’s better not to acquire in the first place. Wishing you the best of luck in your new home and hope the caravan gets fixed soon!

  2. Maegan says:

    Oh Joy. There is so much I want to say to you! I admire what y’all have done. I can wholeheartedly relate to the why’s and how’s and your feelings and reactions and evident sanctification. You are an encouragement and light. We are so excited to have you in Bellingham. We’re native Texans that haven’t been here quite two years. So anytime you want to feel like you’re in Texas, you’re welcome over! Oh, and there’s fried okra up here. :)

  3. Miranda says:

    Ow joy I so hope you get to bundle your babies up to send them out to play in snow and make snowmen and bring the fresh sent of freshly fallen snow in the house with them. Blessings being sent your families way.

  4. Stephanie says:

    Hi, Proutys!

    I’m so happy to hear about your new homestead! Half Moon Bay looks so lovely and it’s so much lovelier with such happy faces playing on its surf. You always make my heart feel full and I always get a silly grin whenever you post, be in on IG or on here.

    Thank you for always being such sources of happiness and light!

    sending you waves of encouragement (and health!) from the sunny Philippines,

  5. Amanda Olson says:

    Oh, Joy- there are no words:) every time you post a personal blog I CRY LIKE A BABY- what a gift you and your precious family are to each and every one of us. It’s crazy, but I feel like we are friends in real life and I sometimes want to call you up to share with you or pray or just laugh. That is a true testament to your vulnerability and realness and courage to lay it all out for the world to read. There are only 3 women in my life that I can truly say have had the biggest influence and exemplify the kind of woman in Christ/wife/mom I want to be… And you sweet friend are one of them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following the calling and anointing God has given you. You change lives Joy Prouty:)
    So excited for you! Call me up when you come to Texas:)

  6. Erin says:

    I know this is a quirky reply, but when I think of how your post touches me, this quote wells up in response:

    “Know all the Questions, but not the Answers
    Look for the Different, instead of the Same
    Never Walk where there’s room for Running
    Don’t do anything that can’t be a Game”
    ― Zilpha Keatley Snyder, The Changeling

  7. Marian says:

    Dear Joy,
    I had a very rough day today and this post of yours really took me by the hand.
    I cannot stop crying and crying over your words and photos. Thank you for pouring your heart out -i know it can be tough at times- and thank you for sharing so generously.
    I would like to give you something back in return but with you all been so far far away, the only thing i can send is my strongest prayer that God will continue to fill you all with His Grace.
    …oh and also an invitation for vacations in Greece whenever you feel like it haha! Would be happy to have you all here!
    All the best!

  8. Lisa g. says:

    Hey joy!
    You inspire me to keep on going. We bought our trailer 13 weeks ago now, crazy enough. I had no idea that other people were actually doing this until someone tagged you on my Instagram feed. It’s been so cool to see your journey. I’ll have to email you more about our crazy journey and how our family got started with this change of lifestyle. I can definitely relate to almost all of what you shared, sharing the bed with the entire fam and getting over arguments quickly with husband because the kids hear and see every action. This truly is the ultimate in keeping your life simple. How lovely, all the things that you’ve mentioned about your new home that you’ll have soon. What a beautiful life that you and your man have been able to give your kids so far! Such sweet treasures. Hope your beginning to catch up on some sleep finally :) :)

  9. keely says:

    Joy, Thank you for sharing your family’s story so honestly! I look forward to hearing/seeing what is ahead for you all.

  10. Mallory says:

    Blessings to you and your family in Washington.

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Your honesty and boldness are such a gift. I was talking with my friend the other day about you and how much we enjoy following your journey. Every time you write a blog, I prepare a cup of coffee, sit down and enjoy every word.

  11. Amy Lynne says:

    I am just amazed and inspired by your adventure! We are learning that less stuff and a smaller place is what we want and need for our family too. Our move probably won’t be quite the adventure, but it will be awesome just the same. Good luck with your move and I can’t wait to see your new home! Safe travels!!

  12. Meg says:

    Joy, I started following you on Instagram when you were pregnant with Mable & I so enjoy seeing your beautiful photos every day. Way to follow your dreams, little mama. You’re an inspiration. My partner & I have a 14 month old boy, Moses, and we live in a house we love with a cat & a dog & chickens & I teach yoga. We are in a bit of a crazy season right now as I just went back to college full time to finish my undergrad as it’s been a dream of mine for some time. Mat is back in school too. He’s a nurse but is going to Physical Therapy school with the goal of taking over his mom’s business when he’s done. This will require us to move 2 hours south to southern Ohio in the middle of nowhere. It’s scary but also exciting because I’ve always wanted horses & we want Mo to run free in the woods & be near his grandparents who live on a cattle farm. Your journey calms my fears. Thank you for sharing. xox

  13. Denise says:

    Oh Joy….you are such an inspiration. Praying for you and your family as you make your move. Much love!

  14. Melissa says:

    How exciting and sounds like the perfect solution for your family! My cousin lives not far from where you guys will be living.

  15. Sarah Costa says:

    I am so excited that not only are you staying on the same side of the country as me but now the PNW. I think of you often and hope we can connect soon!

  16. Mandy says:

    I just love your blog. I tear up as I read it as well. You are an inspiration to me to simplify and enjoy my kids more.

  17. Julie says:

    Welcome to the PNW! :)

  18. Karie says:

    I am so excited for you & your family! Bellingham sounds like the perfect place for you! My heart is full today reading your blog! Best of luck to you on your journey to the next chapter of your blessed life! I can hardly wait until you are able to post pictures from your little house in the big woods!
    Love and hugs!!!

  19. lina says:

    so beautiful.
    thank you so much joy, for sharing.
    This half year, of your on the road photos brought so much joy to me.
    You’re very talented.
    & I look up to you.
    so much love.

  20. Angela says:

    Wishing you much Joy and Happiness in your new home….thank you for sharing your heart and adventures with all of us. ♥ I’ll be waiting with bated breath for your first workshop in Bellingham…..I’m in!!!! ♥

  21. Emily Chaffin says:

    Amazing, Joy. Just amazing! Washington is so lucky to have you, and I cannot wait to follow you on your journey there!!! Thanks for being an inspiration, always!!!

  22. Rikki says:

    Welcome to Western Washington! I moved all over the country growing up, and while I still love to travel, the PNW offers endless adventures, each one varying greatly from the next if you choose, with out having to travel more than a few hours. This place truly is incredible, I hope you enjoy it as I do! Also, the images you shared are truly breathtaking, your children seem so in their element, so free and happy. You have a beautiful family. Best of luck on your next adventure!!

  23. danielle says:

    Congrats on the new house. 6 months is a long time on the road with little ones! I would love to right now at the age my boys are(5&7). They travel so well right now and love adventure.

  24. Jessica S. says:

    Your new home sounds like what dreams are made of. I’m so excited and happy for you and your family that it actually brings tears to my eyes. What an inspiration you have been and will continue to be! @gardenjunkie

  25. josh says:

    beautiful. happy for you :)

  26. allison says:

    Welcome to Washington!!!! I hope you guys have an easy move and I hope you truly enjoy living here. Looking forward to reading more about your adventures in my home state!

  27. Elisa says:

    It has been such a blessing to follow your adventure. Your heart for The Lord is so sweet and bright. What an incredible journey you have had with so much more to come! We have always loves WA and I know some day we will call it home. :) may The Lord continue to bless you for your faithfulness in giving him Glory in everything.

  28. Marissa says:

    Beautiful, Inspiring, Encouraging, Adventurous, God Honoring = The Proutys <3 May God be with you in all you do!

  29. Tami says:

    Oh Joy,
    I am so happy for you and your famly – and elated to hear that you will calling the Pacific Northwest home! There really is somethign magical about this place isn’t there. Your description of your new home got me all choked up, it reminds me so much of our dreams, and fuels me to work harder to make them come true for us too. I hope that we will be able to visit once you have settled in, my little boy is over 4 months already believe it or not. If there is anything at all that we can do for you to help you in your move please don’t hesitate to let me know, you have helped me so much it would be my pleasure.

  30. dandifleur says:

    I have been following your trip with pleasure on instagram and admiring your beautiful pictures. And I am always intrigued by the sililarities between our Clementines! Your next move sounds just as wonderful, good luck with it all (from England) xx

  31. christina says:

    I have enjoyed your journey and while it’s cut short, it’s never short of memories. Looking forward to following your new adventures in WA! May these memories follow you everywhere.

  32. Lisa McPherson says:

    This is beautiful and amazing, and inspiring. Congratulations to your little family….such an adventure, such a success. Here’s to equally amazing days ahead for all of you!

  33. Sharon says:

    You are amazing! Thanks for allowing us to be part of your adventures. I look forward to hearing about Washington State and all of your new adventures. May God continue to bless you all as you experience His wonderful creation.

  34. tara pollard pakosta says:

    gorgeous photos! can’t wait to see pix of the new house and you all iN IT~! yay for you, going after what you believe in~ so proud of your family! what an amazing adventure that I so wish I could have with my family.
    xoxo my best to you ALL prouty family! tara

  35. Kim says:

    How exciting! Welcome to Western Washington. We live in Bellingham and absolutely love it here!

  36. Susanne Ashby says:

    Having grown up in Washington, I can attest that it’s an amazing place to grow up! Your family is going to love it!! Can’t wait to see more of your journey there. You’re such an inspiration to me on how to live in the moment and be present in my children’s lives. Glad to know you!

  37. Cindy says:

    Thank you for sharing your adventure stories, it is truly such an inspiration. I have no doubt that it brings such a unique closeness within your family. Looking forward to many more adventures stories! God bless.

  38. Kelley says:

    You are truly a blessing to my heart. There isn’t much more to say except I want you to know that you and your husband are pioneers in this world we live in where “things” define us and families are more isolated than ever from one another. God challenges me through your journey and your honesty about how difficult and beautiful it has all been. This world is a place for training and discipline (C.S. Lewis) and when we realize that every stumble is a place to learn, we can see the beauty and embrace the joy. Thank you.

  39. carrie lewis says:

    Welcome to the pnw I can’t wait to book am session with you and my boys :)

  40. Michelle says:

    What an inspiration your life and journey have been to me! Thank you for being so transparent and sharing so much with us. God has truly used your story to touch my soul!

  41. beth says:

    do you know denise andrade? she’s a fellow photographer, someone i have followed for over five years and she lives with her beautiful hubby and the sweetest little boy ever in bellingham. they have only been there two years {ish} unless time has flown faster than i remember and i think you would love her. she is someone that i would highly recommend looking up. she’s just one of those people everyone should know :) congrats on everything !!!

  42. Rosemary Hayes says:

    When I visited Seattle in the late 90’s I picked up apartment guides too. I fell so in love with the beauty of the PNW. I understand your need to be there.

  43. Michelle Guzman says:

    I love reading your posts!!! :)

    Also, I can’t even imagine the amazingness you will photograph in your new home. Photo sessions at the Prouty’s. :)

  44. Amanda Cannon says:

    Joy! What a journey you have had! I love watching your family and keeping tabs on your journeys! I am still so grateful to you and your workshop that brought me to Santa Barbara during one of the most difficult times of my life. I then decided to move across the country to call this place home. YOU were a big part of that. Thank you for loving the Lord and thank you for doing what GOD has designed you to do. You are forever my inspiration and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you next. I also will never forget our chat at dinner the night of the workshop you in your yellow Anthro coat. About Donny and how you fell in love and the journey of your marriage. I can’t wait to have my happy ending as well. Blessings! xo Amanda Leigh Cannon

  45. Angela says:

    You always manage to help me feel so happy and content with my life, yet longing to simplify and really feel and love more deeply. You seem so accepting of the good and bad that comes your way and your determination to live life more fully and passionately is very inspirational. I love how you said to change in even small and simple ways like taking 10 minutes to play with your kids. I feel a renewed sense of determination to do that and to love and appreciate my family more than I already do. Thank you and may God bless your family through all the changes you will face in the next little while.

  46. Daniela rodas says:

    It is so amazing how your words inspire so many strangers like myself. your post brought me to tears. You are an amazing individual, who God uses to inspire through your talent. I hope to one day have the financial possibility to be able to do this with my family, and give them this amazing gift you have beeb able to give to your Littles.many blessings to you and your family in this new adventure.

  47. merideth a says:

    love this joy! i feel it is such a treasure that i ever met you! you inspire me so so much. can’t wait to see pics of your new homestead.

  48. eva says:

    your words are so inspiring! I’m envy.
    Must be amazing travel this way and live all this adventures, you must write a book with all them. Thanks for sharing with us
    warm regards!

  49. Meredith says:

    Thank you for sharing so eloquently your amazing story. I remember when you first started this adventure thinking that I would never want to do something like that, especially with a new born. But now I admit that I’m a little envious of your courage and the closeness of your family. The lessons your children learned on this trip are surely great ones. Thank you for sharing with us!

  50. Lauri Smith says:

    Sweet Joy…you continue to inspire and amaze me and everyone you touch. We will miss you in Texas but know God had a plan for you and your family and Washington is where you are meant to be. I’m so glad you are savoring these times with your babies. All too soon they grow up and are off on their own. (Rachael got an acceptance letter from college today)! How the time flies. Looking back I wish I had spent more “intentional” time with both girls…but thankfully they turned out to be beautiful, Godly young ladies despite my shortcomings. You and Donnie are wonderful and caring parents, and your children are so blessed to have you both. They will grow up knowing how much you love them, and all of you will cherish these memories you have made these last few months. Praying that your transition goes smoothly and you settle into your new home quickly. Jeremiah 29:11

  51. Gwen Moore says:

    Just heard the news yesterday and now I get to read all about it. So glad for you… It feels right to me. Your art continues to amaze, but your art is what it is because of your heart. Huge blessings be yours, dear ones. Big hugs.

  52. Krista Brenner says:

    Pure beauty! I have been following your amazing journey every step of the way and so thoroughly enjoyed every picture and story. Thank you so much for sharing such honesty, joy and beauty. I am just wondering maybe you should reconsider Half Moon Bay 😉 If you are ever in HMB feel free to stretch out on the beach a few steps from our door and jump on our trampoline. Your and your husband have chosen the best way to live, close, connected and invested in your children, thank you for showing all of us the wonders of innocence and adventure through your children’s eyes. I hope to follow in your footsteps soon… The pacific NW is a fabulous and magical place to love and explore, enjoy! Congrats!

  53. Missie says:

    Oh…I just knew that you would settle down in the Austin are…..:)
    Happy for you.
    blessings to all..

  54. emily says:

    You will love it! We just moved to a house in E Wa with a few acres and some cherry and apple trees! I have allwinter to research and figure out how to keep them healthy :) My parents were SoCal born and raised and when we were kids theydecided they wanted something different for us and moved us all to Portland and then years later to Spokane. Now my husband and I hope to give our girls that same simple life :) So happy you will share our love for our beautiful state :)

  55. Care says:

    I have been reading over your blog for a couple hours and enjoying the story.. Wow what a story.. You have touched so many lives and especially your own children’s!!! I can’t tell you how much I love that you did all this… Such a treasure you will always have for your children to tell theirs and down- just wanted to say a thanks you for such a wonderful blessing in sharing this story!!

  56. Angela says:


    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story so honestly. Ups, downs, they’re all part of life. So are adventures. You can’t always worry about what might happen, it will stop you from experiencing anything. Your family is an inspiration to me, and everything you write sits on my heart and sparks something in me. Thank you for that!

    And, as for Washington, you will love it. I am a pacific northwest girl, and you can’t ask for a more beautiful place to raise up your kids. I love my state! I live on the west side of Washington, but we frequently travel over to Seattle and always try to take the scenic route home on Highway 2. We sometimes vacation in Bellingham, it’s so lovely way up there. Enjoy this beautiful state!


  57. Rose D. Frenchtown, NJ says:

    You all continue to amaze me!!!! Best of luck and congratulations on your new life in the PNW!! Much love!

  58. Jenneffer Vazquez says:

    Oh Joy,

    So happy for you and your family, I’m convinced the Lord brought you into my life for a reason, the story of your journey has given me courage to not only pursue my own dreams but have grown closer to Jesus. Knowing how you place your whole life in his hands and always look for the good continues to inspire me. Hope to see you and your beautiful family again one day soon!

    Your Friend! xoxo

  59. Elyse says:

    Dear Joy,
    I don’t usually cry when I read strangers’ blogs, but I am so happy for you and your family- your telling of growth and descriptions of your children brought tears to my eyes! Also, as a non-religious woman, it is strange for a Bible quote to raise such depth of emotion in me, as your quoting of Proverb 16:9 did. You seem like an amazing mother and a really cool woman. Good luck on your new adventure, I’m sure you’ll make the best of it!
    Take care!
    Love, Elyse

  60. ToniAnne says:


  61. Tara Templeton says:

    I stumbled across your work when I was trying to find some inspiration for my photography. Wow! I love your creativity and spirit! I went to college in Bellingham and am a NW native. You will LOVE living there! I’m over on the Olympic Peninsula and would love to meet you someday! What a gem you are and God surely broke the mold after you!

  62. Cheryl Cavanaugh says:

    You are such an inspiration, not only professionally but personally as well. I’ve followed you for awhile and can only hope to be as talented as you one day. These images seem different from your previous life snippets. I’m not sure if it’s a different post processing technique or what but they are simply amazing.

  63. sonya says:

    I have been following your journey on the trailer and it’s very inspiring. I love your photography — Our family is in a similar situation — we are always busy working and we don’t have enough to afford to buy a house and still recovering from our move from Austin to Seattle. My dream is to take our wee family to India to do work to help people but it feels overwhelming and your journey traveling in a trailer with your kiddos meant a lot to me and just that it can be done. I am so looking forward to reading more stories and you are much closer now. YAY! Good luck on your move!

  64. Melanie says:

    What an exciting adventure for your family. Bellingham is a beautiful city. I lived their 20 years and loved it! Enjoy!

  65. Meghan says:

    Welcome to Washington! We are thrilled and blessed to have you here :)

  66. Jen says:

    Hope you guys are settling in to your new sweet home! I can’t wait to read more of this new beginning of you and your family’s. In the meantime I’ll have to look at the family pics you took of us back in TO :) xo

  67. Ayla Bennett says:

    This is so awesome/funny. I’m a huge fan of your work and my husband and both want to one day be photographed by you (you seem to bring out the beauty in pair you shoot) and we are from Bellingham WA. If you need any tips on shops don’t hesitate to ask! And if you want a lovely city to shoot, don’t be shy about heading north to Vancouver. It’s a faster drive than to Seattle and a very underrated city (the most amazing dim sum at Dynasty Seafood will BLOW your mind and is worth the trip alone).

    Enjoy your snowy winter, breakfasts at The Little Cheerful, and Winn’s drive in peanut butter shakes!

  68. Ayla Bennett says:

    Also; Please make a cosmic promise to me that you’ll check out Henderson Books on Grand Ave. It’s a heaven sent place.

    All the best of luck to your family, you’ve got an amazing little tribe. <3

  69. Olivia says:

    Looking at your photographs, I noticed how I took a deep breath and my shoulders relaxed. You have a God given talent. Thank you for sharing your family’s journey and your beautiful photographs.

  70. Crys says:

    Love ALL of this. Bellingham is a wonderful place to settle down. A little jealous 😉 we are just starting out adventures in the travel trailer life and I enjoy reading someone’s experience with it.

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



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