The Great Road Trip | Day 5 & 6

Clearly, I am behind on my posting considering I am sitting in my living room with Geoff the cat next to me. But, I want to document our trip. The last few days were a total whirl of goodness and I don't want to forget any of it. 

After a day spent in Seaside, OR on Day 3, we hit the road for Longview, WA. Longview will always hold a dear place in my heart. I moved out there, blindly, in 2005. Back then, I was in a pretty awesome band that was heading to the northwest to record a record that pretty much no one has every heard. After we tracked our songs, I stayed in Washington. The years I spent in Longview were life-shaping. Heartbreaking. I learned more lessons than I care to count but I truly don't regret a single moment spent in the beautiful northwest. I came away from that season in my life with friendships that I still have today. So much of me wishes we all lived closer together and could just go hang out at the coffee shop all day like we used to. It was like our very own version of Cheers. We had some good times. I made some pretty big mistakes. Overall though, I am who I am 
because of this little town in the Pacific Northwest. 

Ryan and I had been wanting to be spontaneous somehow on this trip. I am calculated. I am boring most of the time and prepared for whatever comes our way. We decided that if it all fell into place, we would get tattoos done by Scott Spears at Unruly Tattoo. Eight years ago, Scott gave me my first tattoo and 3 more after that. He's a down to earth kind of guy and a great tattoo artist. All of my work from him has held up better than a few of my others. 

I didn't think it was going to happen due to scheduling, but we received a call while in Seaside that he had some availability and we decided to go for it. This was Ryan's first tattoo and my 8th. (Sorry parents....) I wanted to get something for Marin. Her name means, "Little Queen of the Sea." An anchor was fitting. It was a great experience all around and I'm so glad Ryan finally got to experience it. Getting tattoo is a pretty crazy experience in itself. 

Later that evening, we went out to our very favorite pizza place Bruno's and ended the night with some frozen yogurt with friends. I am so thankful that I was able to see everyone on this trip. My heart is full. 


The next morning, we woke up and got ready. We drove up the hill I lived on for my first few years in Longview to the Hopkin's house. They took me in when I didn't know anyone, housed and fed me for 2 years. They are an amazing couple and I count myself very blessed to have journeyed through life with them. They live in a home that overlooks the town and the view is still as amazing as I remember it. We talked about life, prayed, ate great food. I always walk away from their home feeling encouraged. 

The afternoon was set aside for my for an activity that is good for my soul: recording music. It has been a long time, a few years actually, since I have found myself in a studio recording my own material. Life has gotten in the way. We had a baby. Everything changes after that and so does your schedule. Years back, Stephen recorded my first solo record. Now, he has a studio in his home and still records a ton of people. Our friend, Josh, also joined in on the recording and totally rocked the guitar and bass. 

I felt so alive. I love listening to a song come together, layer after layer. You write a song and for so long it sits in your brain, soaking. You hear parts here and there but until someone else come along and solidifies a line or instrument, everything is still just an interpretation. I've had a few songs that have been unrecorded for the past few years. We tracked two of them. You can listen to them below...

We went to bed after day 5 and my heart and soul felt like they could burst. Music wakes me up. I am so thankful for the friendship that I still have in Longview, even through all of these years. I wish we could just hang out and record music all day, everyday. 

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