Those of you who know me well enough know the finer points as to why I have so much love for and dedication to Google+. It has affected my life in such profound ways, personally and professionally, and even after joining Google and the amazing Google+ Photos team a year and a half ago, I still find myself amazed at what my talented team is cooking up for the future of these parts.

I spent this 3rd birthday photographing some of the gorgeous landscapes that Oregon has to offer with two people who I never would have met if it weren’t for Google+, Nicole S. Young and David Daniels. It was the first time I had the opportunity to let my new Jeep Wrangler get properly muddy as we headed to Lower Butter Creek Falls and Abiqua Falls, pictured here. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend this birthday.

But really, these birthday wishes and thanks go out to you, our users! Thank you for sharing your wonderful stories, photos, and thoughts. Thanks for forging ahead and creating lasting, lifelong friendships (and maybe more!) with other users. You guys ‘n gals make this place as special as it is and you rock for it – so Happy Birthday!!!