Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hello August. Welcome, Stay Awhile.

I feel tired this summer evening.  Heavy eyes, red from spending all but sleeping hours outside.  Happy tired I like to call this.  Skin feel tight and dry from hours of sun, water and heat.  This is the way to feel at the end of any successful weekend.  Happiness of welcoming the best month of summer in the best ways.

It's funny how the last couple of summers we have spent a weekend in Missoula loving on that town and all its wonderfulness.  The following weekend in Bozeman, each time has been the first weekend in August which brings Sweet Pea and S.L.A.M. Festivals and we fall back in love with our own wonderful city.  A week and weekend when our town really shines, in my opinion.

It kicked off with the Bite of Bozeman.  A night where downtown streets are closed to traffic and filled with familiar faces, new faces, music on every corner and food galore.  Too much food, in fact for our family to choose from.  Instead we had pizza at a park and made our way downtown for dessert and music.  

Sweet Pea Festival has been a tradition in Bozeman that began many, many years ago.  As a kid my family did not go.  In fact I don't believe either of parents have ever been to it.  I found Sweet Pea somewhere in my middle school years when friends introduced me to this festival that closed down a park and consisted of three days of music, art, food and chasing boys around that we had secret crushes on.  Our parents would drop us off at the front gates with three bucks for a button and some pocket money for a tater pig and pick us up at closing.  Then came high school and college years...still enjoying music, art and chasing boys around...this time usually with some cheap beer smuggled in your backpack.  So many memories of that lovely first weekend in August when Sweet Pea rolled around.  It has changed again now as a mama. My kids have known Sweet Pea since they were little babes.  Pushed in strollers, paying much more for a wristband and hoping they will hold out long enough to make the money worth it.  Traditions are changing in our town as a new festival as snuck into our community this same weekend each year.  S.L.A.M. is a new festival that came about to support only local artists, musicians, performers and food because there was a group who felt Sweet Pea was missing the local vibe by bringing in out of town talent.  As a total Sweet Pea girl, I thought it was kinda uncool for another festival to come on the exact same weekend.  However, last year we ended up with some extra kiddos on Sweet Pea weekend and because S.L.A.M. is free decided to check it out.  We were pleasantly surprised and this year found a nice balance between the two.  I love Sweet Pea for how big it is in our community and for all the fond memories I have from it, but totally dig S.L.A.M. for it's support of local talent and because it reminds me of Sweet Pea as a kid before it got so huge.  Our mix of both began with the Sweet Pea Children's run which leads the way for the parade.  The girls have ran this for the past five years.  The last three have been with their cousins.  I love this tradition.
Pre-Run...

These kids were up, stretching and "warming up" hours before the actual 1K race.  Their enthusiasm was fantastic.  During the run there is a point where you can see down Main Street and hundreds of kids running and people on the side cheering.  This is the point I tear up a bit every year.  Something about the community we live in that chokes me up.
And getting to be a part of it.
And, then post run...proud, red-faced kids...

Each one having ran their little hearts out.  I wish I could bottle how they feel about themselves at this very moment and pull it out once in awhile when they are feeling down.  

The Sweet Pea portion of our weekend continued for parade.  Kids ready, candy bags in hand.  
Parents standing behind, stealing a piece of candy here and there and watching the crazy floats and laughing.  This was a favorite of mine for it made no sense what so ever-

We kept on the high of the morning and went straight to S.L.A.M. Festival.  Except for a brief trip home in the afternoon this is where we stayed right up until little kids bed time.  Checking out art, listening to music and cooling off in the stream...

Eating ice cream...

Dancing on stage with the band rocking out behind you...


Dancing in the grass...
And soaking up the sunbeams...

It was an awesome day.

Sunday began as Sundays should.  Slowly.  Rather than heading back to either of the festivals we decided to play in our backyard mountains...

Paddle board thrown on top of the car, picnic packed, suits on...we were off to the mountains where temperatures were at least ten degrees cooler.  We had planned on it being just our family of four but a text from friends serendipitously with the same plans made it a group affair.  Dogs splashed, kids made mud pies (and cookies and burgers and mac-n-cheese) and many turns were taken on the paddle boards for a spin around the water.  Hours that seemed like minutes passed and we made our way back home.  Sun-kissed and tired.  Relaxed, rejuvenated and ready for another week.  

Just a couple more favorites from this past week.

A hiking date with my girl...

Little sister was at a play date so Ava and I had our own.  We hiked on a very, very hot afternoon.  My little rock star did not complain once.  Not as sweat was dripping down our backs.  Not as the one sad little water bottle I brought ran out.  Not as the trail mix I brought for a snack melted in the heat into a chocolate, inedible mush.  She powered up the mountain, grabbed my hand here and there (until we had to stop sweating on each other) and enjoyed the good things from the hike.  The butterflies we saw, the planes overhead, looking town on the city below and the joys of the occasionally shady parts of the trail.  She is awesome.

Homemade bread that turned out better than expected...

I pinned this Parmesan garlic soft bread recipe a while ago and finally on a cool morning tried it out.  I made two large loaves and they are both gone.  It was soft and delicious and even looked pretty.  Not something that always happens for me when baking.  

Inside jokes that only our family understands...

A while ago my younger sister started some comments about my girls having herb names because of our vegetarian-type diet.  She began calling Ava "Rosemary" and Layla "Sage"  Ava would act very irritated when called Rosemary, but you could tell she secretly kinda liked it.  The problem was she didn't like the attention of being singled out about it.  Once the herb names caught on to her cousins...(Paprika because of its red color for Greg and Basil for Kim because she is like a feisty Italian and that being used in many Italian dishes), Ava decided it was quite funny.  The other day, Greg was digging in the spice cupboard and I couldn't figure out why until he produced each of their respective herbs.  It has become a funny joke...especially the day Matt and I took them all to the park and called them by their herb names the whole time.  Pretty sure everyone else thought we were total hippies as we called out "Rosemary...wait up for Basil!  Paprika, hold Sage's hand to cross the street!"  This may all sound very weird, but that is my family and I love us and all our quirks.  

Okay...the tired eyes are getting heavier by the moment.  I'm done.

Happy week to ya.  

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