Finding Joy

The Official Bethany J. Photography Blog with Bethany Joy Steele

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Maryland Summer Memories You Forgot About

Summer photo sessions are some of my favorites! As a photographer the light is amazing, the weather makes me happy and it’s hard to argue with getting to be outdoors instead of cooped up inside! If you plan a birthday, graduation, or family photo session in the summer you won’t regret it! Not only do you have the advantage of beautiful sun-kissed skin, cute outfits, and endless location options but you can relax come holiday season because your family photos are done and you can rest a little easier. In the spirit of summer, I wanted to remember 10 summer experiences you may remember if you grew up in Maryland! I was born in ‘97 so add your experiences from when you were a kid in the comments!



Ocean City Vacation 

Every summer when I was a kid we packed up our red Toyota with colorful beach chairs, new beach toys, floaties, and snacks! We packed our cooler with Caprisuns, chips, sandwich meats, and Vienna vanilla wafer cookies. We would scream as our feet burned on the hot sand until we splashed into the water and fell asleep in the sunset. We always got one of those photo viewer things of us on the beach. Ocean City was a rite of passage for us!



Oriole Games & Hotdogs

Every summer at some point we went to an O’s game at Camden Yards! Now do I remember being interested in the game? No? But I loved screaming “O!” during the national anthem. Eating endless hotdogs and popcorn and cheering for a home run. I mean any true Marylander knows we show up for our Orioles! Walking through those massive gates and taking pictures with the oriole bird ( even though I was scared!)





My mom hated these  weeds but I thought they were fairy dust and use to bring them in the house to put into “vases” (water bottles.) We made dandelion soup and blew the fuzz everywhere. This is a core memory because we had nothing to do in the summer and invented ways to fill the time. Usually outside destroying the yard lol.


Fourth of July Fireworks and BBQ

This is definitely not unique to Maryland but is still a great memory! On the Fourth of July we would drive to our Giant (the grocery store) We opened the trunk bundled up in blankets and watched fireworks with our neighbors. Sometimes they were so close some of the burnt ash fell! Usually, we also had a Bar-b-que with an above-ground pool at friends’ houses and threw poppers on the ground. We also lit fireworks with our neighbors (usually from PA) In Baltimore you will hear fireworks every weekend all night just because lol. That’s definitely an MD thing!


Ice Pop’s & Rita’s

What icepop color were you? I was team red and purple and ate these all day! After a long hot day if we begged we got to go to Rita’s! I always got the cherry icee, then we stood around the parking lot because if we dripped any in the car we were in trouble lol. We used to get freezy brains eating too fast!




Catching Fireflies

Somewhere in June the fireflies would come out and start glowing! This to me was the first sign of summer. We usually collected them in a jar and tried to keep them alive ( sorry fireflies.)   





Lot’s of Reading!

So I can’t quite remember what this was called but, when I was little the library in Maryland had a summer reading contest. If you read a certain amount of books you got a prize! I used to stack up like 20 books, usually Nancy Drew ( I wanted to be a spy, duh!) I would read them all and get brand new ones by the next week! I always wanted the cool prize at for reading!





Crab Feast

Every summer at someone’s house we were eating crabs! I am ashamed to say that I don’t like crabs now probably because I cut myself one too many times as a kid trying to break one open! I think the claws always scared me too! You can see below I was kinda scared!





Family Reunion

Every Summer we had our family reunion! This meant seeing all of my cousins, eating hotdogs and drinking lot’s of soda. We usually ended up climbing something or at my Pop-Pop’s we would swing on his swing set! 





Sleeping In

I think this one is pretty universal! Summer was for sleeping in! No getting up to rush to school. Pancakes for breakfast and cartoons! We watched Disney Channel on Saturday mornings and I think one of my favorites was Hannah Montana! I wanted the clothes and semi-celebrity life!




What was your summer like?

Share what your summer was like below!


Finding the Joy

Welcome to my blog. I talk about choosing joy, to me, that means believing God is good and there is hope in the face of difficulty. I also talk about my goals and challenges. I believe in perseverance, grit, dreaming big, and choosing to challenge yourself to be better than yesterday. 

What does it mean to be a part of the #JoyJourney?


It means to choose JOY in the good and bad!
It means we focus on our goals!
It means we challenge ourselves to do better!


Wanna share your story? Join the #joyjourney in my FB group here! We encourage each other to accomplish more and meet up once a month for a nature walk! 


Sign up for our latest nature walk here!


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