Today I turned off the heat in the house and opened windows while I cleaned. I rode my bike to the school when I went to help in Ava's classroom. I walked at the end of the day to pick them up and the three of us strolled home without jackets on. The air felt warm and the sky was bright blue. It felt more like a September day than November and I loved it. We've had a streak of grey dreary days, so today was welcomed with open arms. Although with the start of holiday cheer all around I would have been just as happy with big fluffy snow flakes. Okay, that's a lie. I'll take 50-degrees and sunny over cold and snowy any day. Even Christmas day. Well, maybe not Christmas day. Hmmm....not sure on that one.
Even though this evening I found myself totally over parenting 15 minutes into a game of hide and seek I'm going to write about one of my favorite kinds of days. A family day. By the way, I had no reason to be over it tonight...girls were being awesome, no fighting, we'd finished a nice dinner and were playing some hide and seek before bed. However, when I couldn't find Ava thanks to Matt's super power hiding skills I got frustrated. Normal bedtime had already passed and I knew we had a couple more rounds to go and I was just ready to be done for the day. I suppose we all have those moments for no good reason. It is okay.
So, back to family day. Sunday. A day of no plans beyond church. Very quickly after waking up we also decided against church. The girls had slept in a bit (7 am is sleeping in at our house!) and were watching some cartoons and we were all cozy in our bed. I was thinking about skipping out on church, as usual, so when Matt mentioned similar thoughts it didn't take me long to agree with him. Lately I'm not sure where I stand on the church thing. I feel like a faithful person and I'm happy the girls are learning about religion in their Sunday school, but I feel less inspired by the actual church part of it. Matt and I have talked about it, even thought maybe we should explore other options. Who knows what we will end up doing, but for that morning church was going to be about spending the day as a family. It began with a chilly stroll to breakfast...
It was a bit of a walk, but the air felt so fresh and crisp...it was nice. Once home we warmed up with hot cocoa. I think Matt and I would have been content lazing around the house the rest of the day because we had been up late the night before. However, the girls were antsy to go do something. At the arena where Ava takes horse back riding lessons they having team roping every other Sunday and spectators are welcome. She has been wanting to go check it out, so we thought it a good day to try it. I know I've mentioned this before, but it is so funny to see Ava embrace this cowgirl world. We pull into a parking lot (field) full of pick-up trucks and horse trailers and find a little area to park the Subaru. Inside the dusty arena is the smell of burgers from the concessions mixed with general horse stink. There are a couple dozen horses and probably 50 young steer penned up ready to be roped. It was interesting. I haven't been to a rodeo since I was a kid so didn't totally understand what was going on. It was kinda cool to watch except I couldn't help but feel bad for the cows. Apparently Ava felt the same because later that day she told me she wanted to ride horses, but not do roping. About a half hour in the girls lost interest. After walking around to check out more horses and saying hello to the resident goat, we were off.
A couple weeks ago we had gone to the museum one day because Matt needed to visit the exhibit for a class project. The girls had really wanted to see the planetarium show about volcanoes, but it was way too nice of a day to be inside so we skipped it that day. Sunday, however was chilly so after we left the arena we headed to the museum to catch the show...
It was all about super volcanoes and it didn't exactly end with warm fuzzy feelings. When they started talking about West Yellowstone most likely being the next super volcano eruption and it not being a question of "if" but "when" I started to wonder if it had been the best idea to see this. It took quite a bit of convincing the girls after the show that the chances of it happening in their lifetime were low to get the look of concern of their faces. I try to not think of it much....we're so close to Yellowstone, if something bad happens it'll be over pretty quick. Besides that part, the show was pretty cool.
As we sat around the dinner table that evening I realized besides a few people out in the community we hadn't spoken or seen anyone else all day. Neither Matt or myself had talked to anyone on the phone or so much as sent a text. It had been just us four all day long. I love hanging out with family and friends and having a house full of people makes me happy, but a family day is priceless. The girls are at such awesome ages for days like that. Old enough to not have to worry about naps or snacks but young enough that a day with their parents is enough. I will always hold family days close to my heart. Even if some of it was spent with a bunch of cowboys sitting on dusty bleachers and watching poor cows get roped over and over again. And if one day Ava does get into it and has events like that I will be a proud mama cheering her on from those dusty stands. I will not, however, wear cowboy boots to said events.
Layla is involved in a hobby I understand a bit more...
It was parent observation at her dance class and I loved watching her proud little face dancing her heart out. She kept taking peeks at us and giving us a shy smile.
Lately she has seemed very grown up. Because she is the youngest I always think of her as the baby. I see the young lady growing up out of those chubby baby cheeks. I have mixed emotions about this.
Onto other happy things.
Beautiful, yummy kale...before it became delicious kale chips-
Matt bought a bunch of kale for a recipe but didn't need all of it. My favorite thing to do with kale is of course turn it into crispy chips. I drizzle it with olive oil, sea salt and pepper and bake for around 20-30 minutes at 350-degrees. The girls love them. They usually last about five minutes around here.
My adorable nephews. Baby's rock.
I have six nephews. The three older boys are all hilarious and crack me up. The three youngest melt my heart.
Birthday Celebrations with Grandma...
Around here we think birthdays are sort of a big deal. Especially when we are celebrating someone special who does so much for all of us. And, we love us some birthday cake. Especially when it actually turns out looking good. I have had more than my fair share of baking disasters so I'm always excited when one tastes and looks good.
Hope your week is finding you healthy and happy.