The hubs and I were incredibly blessed to be able to spend a few days in Nicaragua visiting a cousin of mine who has been living down there. He is really living the dream – he writes and travels and is talented and fearless. He taught me so much on this trip just about life and people and love and humanity. He just decided one day to rent a house on the beach in a tiny, laid back Central American town called Las Penitas, so he did.

I can’t even describe for you what this trip was like and the pictures really don’t do it justice. I have one of the world’s worst memories – just ask my husband –  and that is one of the reasons I fell in love with photography in the first place – so I could remember such precious memories.

I have tried my hardest though, when a camera wasn’t available to take a picture in my mind of what was happening around me & I’m so glad I did. I remember vividly the faces that stared back at me on our bus ride from the capitol city two hours out to the coast. There are no regulations for how many people you are “allowed” to fit in these old school buses. If there are rules – no one seems to care. We rode a bus meant to seat 50 but pack with about 85, people lined the aisles and hung out the doors. My seat was the best in the house as I sat shoulder to shoulder with the driver, atop the (very warm) middle console – I just imagined the gears turning hot right beneath me. I faced backwards towards the passengers and remembered to make eye contact, locking in every sweet face to memory.

Later in the trip – the hubs and I, accompanied by my cousin, went out to attempt boogie boarding in the Pacific Ocean (I should mention that my cousin repeatedly reminded us that three of the world’s deadliest sharks lived off this coastline…)

meh …

I remember this experience as the hubs and I dodged the waves to get out into deep enough waters. As the waves came rolling over our heads we both turned our backs on them at the same time, paddling, kicking and flailing our arms about – pretending like we knew what we were doing… Before I knew it, the wave had picked me up and began pushing me forward towards the shore. I looked to my right and sure enough – he had caught it too and I could hear his roaring laughter as we both rolled off our boards and onto the sand, right back where we had started. We spent a few afternoons dodging waves, catching some, missing most and watching the locals tackle even the smallest wave like it was nothing.

[Keep scrolling for the 50×50 post]

A few years back, I made a “50×50” list… 50 random things I wanted to accomplish by the time I turn 50 [see here] … A moment on the rocks with this cross & I’ve checked off #49: Hike to a new location in an exotic land and be struck by God’s mercy and the magnitude at which he loves me by seeing the creation around me.

My cousin had pointed it out to me and mentioned he’d like a picture of it for an article he was writing, so while he and the hubs were in the city together – I walked down the beach and climbed up the rocks.

I paused.

I listened to the crashing waves. I watched the birds in the air and the fishermen on the shore. I pulled out my phone and listened to Aaron Gillespie’s “I Will Worship You” on full blast.

I worshiped.

The Lord is beautiful and it is evident through all of creation. I don’t want to cross off #49. I want to experience the presence of the Lord in a beautiful place as often as possible.