Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Campers, Happy Father's Day...

Today is Father's Day and just as I find Mother's Day an appropriate time to gush about being a mom, I find Father's Day an appropriate time to gush about the father of my girls...

Oh, how I love watching Matt love these two girls.  I hope they realize just how lucky they are to have a Daddy like him.  He makes them laugh with his endless jokes, plays with them everyday (including letting them "do his hair" and make him "pretty"), is tough on them to keep them strong & make sure they are good kids and loves on them like no other. When I see them hug on their daddy, it makes my heart just melt.  I love that he makes sure they have a strong bond and know they will always be little daddy's girls.   Some guys may feel like they are missing out on something by not having son's, but not Matt.  He always says he is so happy he had girls and I totally believe that.  We celebrated what a fantastic dad he is today with camping, gifts, soccer games and homemade pizza for dinner.  Perfect way to end an awesome weekend.  

What made the weekend so perfect?  We finally got to take our favorite friends (The Frasers) to our favorite camping spot...

We have been camping with Amy and Chad long before we had kiddos.  Back then we'd throw tents in the car, some food & beer and try to find a good little spot to set up camp.  Since we've all had kids, the way we do it may change (campers & a little more planning) but most of it stays the same (campfires, s'mores & beer!)  The first time we all went after Dru (their oldest) and Ava were born was just a little trip up Hyalite and we didn't even spend the night.  Just dinner over a campfire and two little babies sleeping in their car seats with a mosquito net covering them up.  We did this just to get out into the mountains and feel like things would still be the same, even with babies.  The next year we actually spent the night and laughed as we watched two little toddlers feed each other dirt with a spoon.  And now, 7 years later, they seem all grown up...

And, we added a couple more with their daughter Graci and of course our Layla...

It was a wonderful weekend and I found myself saying aloud more than once how happy I was to be there.  To be with our best friends, watching the kiddos play in the dirt, splash in the stream, and just catch up with them.  To be camping in the place that holds so many childhood memories to me.  We usually see them on a weekly basis, but life gets in the way sometimes and this was a much needed weekend with them.  A weekend that can best be summed up in photos rather that words.

I talk a lot about my love of the ocean and warm weather and how happy I feel when playing at a beach or the taste of salt water in the air.  And, I really do hope one day to live someplace where a nightly stroll on the beach is a possibility.  But, I will always be a Montana girl at heart and my love of being in the fresh mountain air definitely ties with the feeling of listening to waves crash.  So, if right now I can't be standing with my feet in the ocean, I will be happy with them standing in a cool Montana stream...

We kicked off our weekend with a date night on Friday.  Another thing that we haven't gotten to do in the last couple of weeks.  Most date nights start with Matt and I cooking some new meal or an old favorite together.  It's a fun process cooking together that more often then not is me cooking, while Matt watches and drinks wine. (which is fine by me, I'm kind of a solo cook but like giving him the jobs I don't want like shredding Parmesan cheese or chopping onions)  Those are always fun date nights and the food tastes so good after all we put into them.  And then there are date nights that look like this....

Take out pizza and wine.

A night where no one feels like cooking and it can be here as fast as making a phone call.  This gives more time for talking and just being together.  Bonus...getting to eat it outside on a warm summer night.

Not that I didn't do any cooking this week.  One night I made fish tacos, with fresh walleye that Matt got from a friend and one of the nights, I made one of my favorites...pesto pasta primavera.
Here's the recipe:
Pesto Pasta Primavera
-Prepared pesto (1/2 cup pine nuts, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 1/2 cup olive oil, s&p, 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves...all pureed in a food processor)
-Around 1 cup of each of the following:  chopped carrots, chopped broccoli, sliced pea pods
-2 garlic cloves, crushed
-1/2 cup grape tomatoes
-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1.  Boil some water and add carrots, broccoli and pea pods and cook for 2 minutes, drain and set aside
2.  Heat some olive oil in a skillet and add garlic.  Cook for around 30 seconds and add tomatoes.  Cook for a couple minutes and add other veggies.  Saute for a few more minutes.  
3.  Add cooked noodles, pesto and Parmesan cheese to the vegetables and toss gently to coat.  

This is a hearty pasta, full of veggies that my girls gobble up.  Matt likes it to, but would probably like it more without the broccoli.  However, I'm a broccoli lover so he has to deal with it.  

Now it is Sunday evening, girls are sound asleep exhausted from the weekend festivities. I feel happy, tired and excited about spending a lot of time this week (my first week of "retirement" as Matt keeps saying) with both my sisters and all the cousins together. 

Hope your week is happy!

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