Monday, August 26, 2013

13 Years and the End of Summer Vaca.

Thirteen.  A number I occasionally consider bad luck.  I'm not an overly superstitious person, however I am always aware when it is a Friday the 13th.  This year marks our thirteenth year of marriage.  All I feel is luck and goodness about this.  Luck in that I was fortunate to marry my best friend all those years back.  Goodness in that we have our struggles and ups and downs like any relationship, but mainly there is goodness.  And a lot of love.  And laughter.  And hopes and dreams.  And companionship.  And so very many other things.  There was no bad luck around this thirteenth year celebration.  Except maybe the hail storm we encountered while camping.  In a tent.  
We decided to stick around close to home for our anniversary this year.  The girls spent the weekend with family and we went to camp one night and then a night on the town the next.  This embodies us well.  Part of the time, cooking over the fire, chilling and enjoying some nature, the other part dressed up and on the town.  I love it.  We tried a new place to camp this time and let me tell you, it was pretty awesome.  

Right on a secluded mountain lake.  We love camping and we love being on the water.  We usually do these things separately.  Here we found the combination of both.  This will be the first of many times we'll go to this little slice of heaven.  I mean, come on...

The reflections on the lake were ridiculous.  Clear, glass-like water that you could see to the bottom of.  I paddled to the middle, laid down on the board and took a nap.  So peaceful.  And beautiful...

A little hazy from all the forest fires, but still beautiful nonetheless.  

Camping with our girls is amazing.  They explore, we laugh and fun is had by all.  Camping with just Matt is equally as amazing.  We take strolls on the board and simply relax.  My idea of relaxation?  The 700-page fall issue of my fashion magazine and a cocktail on a lake...

We also eat well when it's just the two of us.  No hot dogs over the fire.  It was quite a spread...

The next afternoon we packed up to head to the second half of our anniversary celebration.  Before getting home and cleaning up we decided to slum it a little longer with lunch at a small town, roadside bar.  

The beer was cold, food was good and service slightly skeptical of us as many in Montana small towns can be during tourist season.  Feeling us out...seeing if we were worth bothering with. I think we won them over.  

The rest of the evening turned into quite a comical event.  Walking downtown so we didn't have to bother with a car for the evening and getting caught in a wicked rain storm, bar hopping, dinner, getting on the wrong bus home and ending up walking most of the way.  Acting like a young couple out on the town without any responsibility of children only to be reminded how old we are when the "kids" on the bus were heading downtown while we were heading home.  We laughed a lot.  It doesn't matter what we do or where we go...together we can get through anything and have a good time doing it.  And the best part is, he totally loves me for me.  So cool.  Take that unlucky 13.  

Of course by Sunday we were missing our girls.  Although we got a little piece of them with the sweetest notes they had hidden in our overnight bag.  Seriously, these girls are something else.

They may not have been with us but they were in our thoughts.  Especially because where we camped we discovered, no joke, thousands of baby frogs.  It actually looked like the ground was moving as they hopped around.  The edge of the water in this little bay was full tadpoles in various stages of the process.  It was the creepiest but still coolest thing.  

All those black spots are frogs.  Since the girls weren't with us we caught a couple and brought them home.  We could have brought hundreds, but settled for three.  After showing them to the girls and all the cousins we let them go in a nearby stream.  But, before we did the kids named them...Climber and Bimer.  Climber because he climbed the side of the dish and Bimer "cuz it rhymes".  The third we gave to the neighbor girl before or it could have been named Limer or Dimer.  Layla kinda wanted to keep one, but I didn't think it was a good idea.  Pretty sure I would kill a frog...I hardly remember to feed the fish most days.  So...farewell Climber and Bimer...

Changing subjects.  There is still a good month left of growing season here and our garden is exploding.  Add to that my sisters garden that is four times as big as ours is also exploding.  We have been eating good.  A couple of my favorite go to summer meals this time of year.

MT Garden Pizza-

Basically I make my usual crust and sauce and then add whatever veggies I have gotten from the garden that day.  For this particular one I put zucchini, baby tomatoes, banana peppers, chives, basil and one not-from-the-garden-thing, artichoke hearts.  One day we will live someplace we can grow artichokes but for now I have to settle for out of the jar.  Can't have it all.  This pizza was awesome.  

Another go-to summer dish I make is grilled potatoes and beets.  I am not a huge beet fan.  Ava and Matt are and I am a fan of cooking with any fresh ingredient.  I take potatoes, beets, onions and some fresh herbs.  All diced, thrown in tin foil, drizzled with olive oil and sea salt.  Fold it up, put it on the grill...40 minutes later remove and enjoy.  Anything I can throw in tin foil and put on the grill is a winner to me.  Bonus?  No clean up.

After making this dozens of time these past few summers, I have to say the beets are growing on me.  And, they are just so pretty.  

Tomorrow is the official last day of summer vacation.  And since we have to go to the school to drop off supplies and meet our teachers it isn't a true day of vacation so we considered today to be.  I didn't feel crazed to fit a bunch of things in, but did make a point to do a few of our favorite things.  We took an early morning hike.  Chatting up the  mountain about such things as what happened on the latest "Horseland" episode to why running down the hill feels like flying.  We came home and splashed in the pool in the backyard that is up for it's final days.  We finished painting our bench.  A project we began at the beginning of summer and have been working on throughout...a little here and there.  Today we completed the project-

And, I may or may not have gotten a bit over zealous and continued my painting onto other things.  

We baked.  One of my all time favorite things to do with my girls.  Apple strudel muffins.  Just because.  We ended the night with a bike ride.  A final night before bedtimes are enforced.  

There was also a little more fighting.  A little more whining.  All indications that it is in fact time for a change of routine.  As much as I wish summer could on and on, it has to come to an end.  We can tuck it into our happy memories file where it will be appreciated it.  If it continued on it may creep into the take-it-for-granted folder.  I will cherish the summer moments we have had.  The happy and the whiny.  You gotta embrace it all.  When camping I found this old tree stump with gnarled up roots spreading everywhere.  Some may think it an eye soar.  I found it the coolest thing.  It made me think of embracing everything...the beautiful and the weird.  I wish I could move it to my backyard.

Happy day to ya.  Next post promises to be super sappy as my babies will be back in school.  

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