(We Heart It)
Guess where I’m headed tomorrow!! Back to Oregon! It’s no secret that I ::love:: Portland, OR. Although, I’m not sure I’ve ever expressed on my blog why it’s so dear to my heart. The story begins back in the 5th grade. Yes, that far back. I was asked to write a report on the state of Oregon and this was SUPER lame to my fifth grade mind. I actually wanted Pennsylvania because I thought that’s where vampires were. Whoops. Silly me. So I was stuck with Oregon and didn’t realize that the beauty of this state would stay in my mind for years after I glued and pasted pics on that poster board. I traveled a lot with my family but we never made it to the west coast. Regardless, it stayed in my mind and I grew more and more infatuated with the idea of Portland without ever visiting.
Three years ago I started working for The Revolve Tour at Women of Faith. My job would include traveling to different areas of the country to promote the upcoming tour dates. Guess which city I was given. Yep, Portland. Oh my GOSH I was FREAKING out!! I had never been and now it was my job to go over and over and spend weeks at a time in my favorite city in the world which I had never even seen in real life.
So…I went on my first trip there and it completely changed me in every way possible. I barely made it because I went to the WRONG airport for my flight. Good grief, who does that? Once I landed in Portland I started meeting people who immediately adopted me into their family and have stayed so close to me regardless of distance. I’ve never been to a place full of such warmth and beauty. One of the main reasons I love it SO much is that I feel completely 110% accepted exactly how I am. Nobody expects anything in return. They love openly and sacrifice for their friendships. I wanted to introduce you to some of the people who I love so very deeply and also thank them for impacting my life. The Lord has used every single person (and more) to change me for the better.
This is Justin. He was one of my very first friends in Portland and the main reason I have met so many people. From the second we met, he took time to show me around and has really invested in our friendship. He’s one of the wisest and most sincere people I know. It’s an honor to have coffee with him just to hear his thoughts on God and life and everything else.
This was taken at Portland Saturday Market about three years ago. The four cuties on the left (Sarah, Stephanie, Betty, and Melinda) took me in before I even knew what was happening. Betty let me stay with her and they would always come see me when I was in town. I even got invited to (and attended) one of their weddings. 🙂 So sweet.
One of my all time favorite memories was the roadtrip to the Oregon coast. My friends made sure we went so I could see it…and I’m so extremely thankful. It’s so gorgeous. This is Justin, Mike, Charlie, and Erin. Mike is like a little brother to me. He has the biggest heart and is so cute I can hardly stand it. Charlie is a nut but more about him later. The pretty girl on the right is Erin. She let me live with her for two months last time I was in town for work!! Who does that? This girl. I LOVED waking up to the sound of Erin making coffee and singing along with her piano every morning. I miss that.
Back to Charlie! He is one of my closest friends in the entire world. My last two trips would have been a disaster without him. I lost my license BOTH TIMES before I went to Portland and BOTH TIMES he let me use his car for days and also drove me around to every place I needed to go. We talk often about how things are going and he’s the first person to offer encouragement and some great advice. He’s so so great. Oh yea, and a wonderful musician.
This is Natalie and she has this amazing beautiful heart. Breakfast and coffee with this lovely lady will change your life. She’s kind, thoughtful, funny, and truly cares about people. I miss her like crazy.
Adriana. Oh my this girl is magic. She’s SO feisty and not to mention has the most GORGEOUS tattoos. She is a precious soul and is loved by every person she meets. I swear she doesn’t have a selfish bone in her body. One day last winter I went to my mailbox and found this – a beautiful scarf that she knitted just for me. *happy*
Oh hey there, this is Aaron. I’m smiling right now just thinking about this crazy cat. He’s hilarious and sarcastic but also thoughtful and a big sweetheart. Aaron is SUPER loyal and a total blast to be around. Plus he’s about eight feet tall I think. 🙂
These are two incredibly talented ladies, Emily O and Laura Elizabeth. They are SO musically gifted. Em has a gorgeous voice and Laura plays the violin. Also, Emily is one of the funniest/wittiest people I have EVER met and Laura’s mind is full of romantic and whimsical thoughts. They’re both like poetry.
I have a MAJOR girl crush on this little pretty. This is Emily W. She also sings beautifully and has this incredible quirky side that is super endearing. Plus she throws amazing parties. She had a fall party last October and we all shared a huge breakfast made by Milly (pumpkin pancakes and french press coffee were some of the things on the menu) then headed to the corn maze and spend a magical day together. Here’s a group pic below from the party of some of my FAVORITE people…
Bailey and Johnny have inspired me so much. Not only is their love story completely fantastic, but their lifestyle is seriously amazing. They use recycled rain water in their home, grow their own food, only eat fair trade chocolate, hardly ever buy new things, and have chosen bicycles over cars. The reason? They give anything extra away to people who need it. Their whole lives are spent pouring into those around them who need things. I adore this couple. Seriously, they make me want to be a better person.
Shawna and her new tattoo. This girl is a beautiful friend and means so much to me. She has opened her home to me numerous times and emails me weekly to ask how I’m doing and what she can pray about. She loves the Lord so much and pushes me to fall more in love with Him just by her life. We are road tripping to Seattle on Saturday and I can’t wait to see her pretty face and talk about life.
This is Wes and he’s a total charmer. You meet him and instantly fall in love with how completely sweet he is!!! I could just squeeze him!! Plus, he’s a very very very talented tattoo artist who does lovely work. He’s always been nothing but a gentlemen and checks in with me often to make sure life is good.
This lovely little lady is Bianca. The first time I met her I knew we had to hang out more and I’m so glad we did. She is wise beyond her years and makes my soul lighter when I’m around her. The first time we ever had dinner she started asking what the Lord was doing in my life and how she could pray for me. That’s incredible and I want to be more like that. I love this girl so very much.
Annie is a constant encouragement. She has the kindest spirit about her and it’s a joy whenever we talk or hang out. I’m so glad I have an entire week and a half in Portland so I can get to know her better. She’s such a beautiful person.
Daisy has an affection for the Lord that people 20 years older than her only long for. She’s such a young girl with a mature faith and a natural beauty. Being around her pushes you to be better as well.
Jamie slays me with her freakin’ cuteness. Look at this! I am dying. She is a light wherever she is and so much fun. Plus, like those previously mentioned, she has this amazing singing voice. Oh I LOVE listening to her.
Serena is on the left. She has this amazing old mustang and is incredibly artsy and talented. We met later on but I instantly adored her. I’m hoping we get to spend some time talking about all sorts of life mysteries over coffee…decaf for me, of course.
Tyler is the type of person who doesn’t have an enemy. He’s so loveable!! You meet him and want to stay friends forever within five minutes. I adore him because he is super intentional about maintaining a great friendship even though we live super far apart. He’s a gifted photographer and so selfless. He’s letting me stay at his place the whole time I’m in town while he’s out in Hawaii shooting a wedding. Lucky boy!!
I met this pretty girl on Twitter and have loved her ever since. Victoria is one of the smartest and funniest people that I’m blessed to know. She also loves Jesus with all of her heart and is a constant encouragement to me. We are playing in Seattle on Saturday and Sunday and I cannot wait to squeeze her pretty little face!!!
The Peterson family has totally adopted me as one of their own. Meg, the cute momma, is like a sister to me and I cannot wait to spend time with their beautiful family again!! They cook for me and invite me out to dinner when I’m in town and completely make me feel at home. I’m safer traveling alone knowing I can count on them for anything. Their two girls are SO MUCH FUN and I can’t wait to see them!! I’m getting so excited!!
Lastly, the Whittets…who I can’t find a picture of but I know I have one somewhere. Blast!!! They’re another family who has adopted me and cooks for me and takes me on family outings when I’m around. That means so much to a person far away from home. Home cooked meals are the best because they are hard to come by.
SO…needless to say I’m so excited to board that plane tomorrow and head back to my personal Narnia. I’m inspired and changed every time I go. I know I didn’t get a chance to mention every person there who has impacted me but these are a few. THANK YOU for loving me without expecting anything in return. Thank you for welcoming me into your community and being my friend, for praying for me, giving me rides, inviting me to parties, planning beach trips, inviting me to your wonderful church, calling and texting and emailing me when I’m far away, for loving me the way Christ calls all of us to love. Every single one of you have impacted me and made me better. I love you and think of you like family. I can’t wait to spend the next two weeks with you. xoxoxox!!!