the Yahoo! news documentary of OUR family!

so remember when i told you that yahoo! news filmed us for a day for a documentary?  well, it is finished and online!  click HERE to watch it!!!

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we were on the front page.  millions of viewers.  i don’t think i could have been any more nervous about it.  when we heard it was up, donny and i both sat down at my laptop, took a deep breath, and watched.  and by the end we both had tears just dripping down our faces.  it was beautiful!!!  we are so grateful to the people who put it together (especially jeff, the producer) and wouldn’t change a thing about it.  i can’t express how surreal the feeling was to be seeing a video of our own life play out in front of us.  over the last six months it has seemed our life has gone in fast motion, so much moving and doing and fixing and packing and working and stressing and traveling and trying our best to be intentional and loving.  so much so that we hadn’t really taken a moment to step back and see how much we have actually accomplished… so many things we worried about for years with the burden now lifted.  such a blessing and a relief!  we just looked at each other and had this big moment where we saw that we were actually really living the life we had planned for and dreamed of for years.  surreal.  of course we then went and grabbed the kids and showed them the video too and they giggled and thought it was the coolest thing ever.  and then we were in a blissful state for about, oh, an hour.

and then the comments started pouring in from all sorts of various media sources in response to our video.  so many incredibly supportive comments, and to those i am so incredibly, overwhelmingly grateful.  and then there were the words of judgement.  and plain lies and hurtful, untrue assumptions about our family, our finances, our health, our intelligence, our marriage, the safety of our children, our choices, our appearance and character.  i knew there was a chance that it would happen and donny and i had several very long discussions in weighing out the pros and cons before agreeing to be filmed for the documentary.  we decided that the beauty in the journey was worth being shared.  that we had nothing to hide.  we hoped that our story may touch someone out there that may have been struggling, too.  and that since truth and bravery had brought immeasurable rewards in our life since we decided to live outside the box, we felt that wanted to share.  i was fully aware that we had made a choice to open ourselves up to the world.  i just had no idea how much it would hurt when the darkness swept around my family.  it’s one thing for a stranger to make a judgement about me (i didn’t even mind the comment about how all of my babies had really sucked all the life out of my boobies, lol!), but when it came to people making bold, untrue judgements about any sort of irresponsible parenting and putting our children in harm’s way, the pain struck so deep.  granted, the video portrays us as having a very happy-go-lucky, zero stress kinda life and is only four minutes long, but we had assumed viewers would obviously know that there was much more to the story.

here is what we do know… for the first time in our lives, we are living with purpose at every single moment.  we have never been more financially responsible, we are not getting assistance from anyone, we are working hard throughout this adventure.  we are never for one second negligent with our children.  we parent with more patience and joy and reason than ever before.  our marriage is firm.  our children are receiving an education of a lifetime and they are happy and secure.  the bonds our family has created over the last two months is nothing short of miraculous.  i could go on and on.  i could choose to retaliate and hate the people that have shown us so much disrespect and vulgarness.  but after much prayer and time to be still with my God, i know that the only person i need to please is Him.  the judgements of others do not define me or my family.  and that ultimately, God planted the seeds in our hearts for this journey and i know that He will see us through.  i also know that persecution from the world about us making a choice to live bravely and do something outside the norm perhaps is the affirmation that we are doing something very right.

yesterday i was driving with brandon.  i was in a state of confusion.  i had my phone in the passenger seat playing music as we drove in random order.  and then the song “legacy” by nichole nordeman came on.  i hadn’t really listened to it since college, back when i felt like i was having constant ‘mountaintop’ experiences with God and shouting His name out loud as often as i could.  and not that i don’t experience the same joy now.  but i feel more drained (i’m working on that).  and my mountaintop experiences aren’t necessarily spiritual highs but are more often found in the laughter of my children and in the few quiet moments, and sometimes the very loud ones, where i pause to take in all the blessings of my grown life.   this song was a little nudge from the great big God.  the God that wrote our family’s story on the palms of His hands long before we even existed.  He is always the hero of the story.  these are the words of the song…

  “i don’t mind if you’ve got something nice to say about me.  i enjoy an accolade like the rest.  you could take my picture and hang it in a gallery of all the who’s who and so-and-so’s that used to be the best and such and such.  it wouldn’t matter much. i won’t lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights.  we all need an atta boy or atta girl.  but in the end i’d like to hang my hat on more besides the temporary trappings of this world.  i want to leave a legacy.  how will they remember me?  did i choose to love?  did i point to You enough to make a mark on things?  i want to leave an offering, a child of mercy and grace who blessed Your name unapologetically.  leave that kind of legacy.  i don’t have to look to far or too long awhile to make a length list of all that i enjoy.  it’s an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile where moths and rust, thieves and such will soon enough destroy.  i want to leave a legacy.’

i love how raw and humbling these words are.  and i was singing it and crying.  and then brandon piped up from the backseat and said, “mommy, your voice is prettier than a princess and you are my beauty!”  and that’s when it hit me that all the criticism didn’t matter one bit.  and that the happy little four year old blessing in my backseat was all the proof i needed that we were making the best possible choice for our family.

so that’s about all for tonight.  i do want to share this blogpost with you, written by my friend ashley ann of under the sycamore.  i don’t have enough words to properly explain how blessed i feel by her.

i also wish i could get up on a rooftop and yell a big, HUGE, amazing thank you to each of you reading this, for watching our video, for the outpouring of support for what we are doing, for praying for us and laughing with us and crying with us.  for sharing your stories with us.   all the kind words just sprinkle our days with blessings.  thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!

seeing His grace in every tiny detail.

this is us…

Prouty_037 c]beautiful photo by jagger photography up in bellingham, washington.

 

Posted in our family adventures, our life on the road, Personal Stuff, Uncategorized | 128 Comments

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!

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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!  ;)

Posted in our adventures, our family adventures, our life on the road, Personal Stuff, road trips, Uncategorized | 45 Comments

hello, i’m joy!  sunshine chaser, child of God, mama to four & wife to one good man.  we traveled all over looking for a place to call home and we found it.  we live a simple life out in the country with bare toes and happy hearts.

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