Tuesday, August 19, 2014


I turned 26 on Sunday. Which feels somewhat less momentous than 25, just kinda - eh, 26...cool. But also perhaps a little bit more legit because it means that I am closer to 30 than 20. And by 30 I'll be a real adult, right?

To celebrate, the only gift I asked for was a camping trip. It was our first of the summer which feels like a great big injustice to the season, thank you very much Step 1. But finally it was Saturday and we were packing the car full of sleeping bags and marshmallows and a tent for two.

I had picked Preparation Canyon State Park, 2.5 hours to the west of town. It was isolated with hike-in campsites and spreading state forest; perfect for getting away from the city and into nature. About an hour and a half in, Jason got sleepy so we switched seats (but not before I took pictures of the wildflowers, duh).

And then, tragedy. Suddenly my car lost power and refused to accelerate. Thankfully, I was able to pull over safely with no problems. Long story short, car didn't work but once the tow truck was on his way, car worked again. We didn't want to risk it so we headed back towards home.

After spending 4 hours driving essentially nowhere, we switched to Jason's car and decided on a much closer campground instead. Worry not, Preparation Canyon! We will come another time. At least this local campground was full of wildflowers.

And marshmallows. All a girl needs.

The next morning, my body missed the sleeping-in-on-my-birthday memo and I woke up early. I zipped open the door and peeked out. To fog. The most glorious, hazy, marshmallowy kind of fog.

Jason was still cozy and asleep so I wandered around the area of our campsite. It was quiet and deliciously foggy.

As I was walking, I came upon a sweet fawn in the distance (it's a fawn if it still has spots, right? My dad is shaking his head. Sorry Dad). We both stopped. It tilted its head, wagged it tail, then slowly took a few steps towards me. Stopped, repeated. Cue heart bursting. As my friend Molli described it, this curious little fawn was a birthday miracle. It was just the two of us, having a moment. Once the fawn got close, I slowly raised my camera and took a picture. And it darted off instantly. Well nuts, but thank you precious little creature for making my birthday.

I found this spider web and it seemed extra beautiful and meticulous, weighed down with condensation from the fog. After taking a couple pictures, I looked up to see a whole field, FULL OF SPIDER WEBS.

I knew the sun would be rising soon, so I headed towards the lake. I waited and then in a moment of magic, half the sun appeared above the fog, red and creamy. It rose slowly, reflecting on the lake. The air was still and cool, with an occasional bird swooping by; me on the damp earth, hugging my knees and taking it all in. Eery and beautiful. I prayed a simple prayer, that my 26th year would reflect this beauty, God's beauty, in a meaningful and tangible way.


  1. 1 closer to 100. enjoy the journey Em. Love you. Dad

  2. Happy Birthday today!

    I have a odd question for you: could I buy a copy of the deer photo? I think it's so pretty and would love to hang it in my house!