Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sweet, Sweet Summer.

Oh, glorious summer.  It seems like while we were in Michigan summer finally arrived in Montana.  Of course there were some beautiful June days but real summer, 80-plus degree summer, didn’t hit until the middle of July.  I love this.  The heat doesn’t bother me.  I love sitting outside in the evening and not needing a sweatshirt.  I love sleeping all night with windows wide open.  I love waking early and only having to throw on a tank top and shorts for my morning run.  In the middle of December I often feel heavy after putting on three layers of clothes to brave the cold for a run.  And, speaking of running…I love that I don’t have to take the same route over and over because I know the snow will be plowed.  Instead I can venture further away, to the mountains and let this be my view…

Yes, I love everything about summer.  Often I get anxious as it begins to slip by.  Worried about all the things we still want to do and fitting it in.  This past year I’ve worked on staying in the present moment and I have to say this has helped tremendously with letting go of the anxiety of a fleeting summer and simply enjoying it.  We have gotten into a routine this summer.  A lovely blend of bike rides, cousin time, exploring parks, hiking mountains and swimming during the week sandwiched between weekends of camping and going to the river.  Spending the majority of the time outdoors…knowing when winter comes we will be stuck in.  No day camps or play dates for the kids.  We didn't even get around to signing them up for swim lessons this year.  Just good ole fashion playing outside is how we roll.  This is how we do summers and I'm all about it.  

Filling our time with things like paddle boarding and camping with friends-
Usually once a summer we get to camp with our best friends.  Right at the beginning we make it happen and then everyone gets busy and it doesn't happen again.  I was thrilled when we found another weekend we could all go and even more so when we decided to go to water so we could take our boards.  However, this weekend ended up being more a comedy of errors.  Alls well that ends well is what they say and we had a great time.  When I was telling my sister about our obstacles of the day...(major mosquito's, no campsites, wind storms sending tents flying like kites when we finally found a site and then calling quits to camping and heading to the river house to name a few)...she laughed and said it's those times when things don't go as planned that are the ones we talk about later.  It's all how you handle them and even though there was a point we were all getting testy as tents were flying, for the most part we laughed about it.  Laughing over adventures is something we all do well.  Especially while talking about it over beers by the fire...

The next weekend was a planned trip to the river.  This one because of a new toy for baby girl...

There's really nothing like playing in water on a hot summer day.  It's how I could spend all my days.  Apparently these girls could as well.

It's kind of a family thing....

I think the water and outdoors calls to me so much because it feels so freeing.  And calming.  The big sky above you.  The warm sun on your skin.  Everyone in happy moods.  

Besides the rivers and lakes there are only a few things we need in summer-
The Mountains...
If I can't be by the water I want to be in the mountains.  Taking these girls out every chance I get.  Hiking with them this summer has become my favorite thing.  Exploring and finding perfect picnic spots that are secluded because we had to hike a couple miles to get to them...
Talking and finding interesting things and seeing beautiful views.  Most of the months these mountains are full of snow.  A playground to the skiers.  But this time of year they are mine.  

Water...

It's not just lakes and rivers that get our love, sometimes you just need to jump in a pool. Or at least these girls do.  Whether it's the local city pool or the small one in our backyard.  My fish beg to swim on a weekly basis.  

Not just for jumping in, sometimes for splashing in...
I get it.  Water is fun.

S'mores...

Any camping or river trip entails s'mores.  Maybe this is why the girls love it so much.  They will forever associate camping with s'mores.  As they should.

Fresh food...

Oh, the cooking is getting good around here.  We are in the middle of summer growing and fresh veggies are popping up each day.  Days where I go to the garden, cut kale or peas that we will be eating within the hour.  You can't get much fresher than that.  It inspires me like nothing else does when it come to cooking.  And, as a mostly vegetarian family it doesn't get much better than fresh vegetables.  

Yes, summer is simple in the things we need.  No structure, no schedule.  Only play.  Catching bugs on trails and minnows in lakes...


This being enough to mean a successful day.  Putting tired girls to bed as the sun goes down.  Exhausted and smelling of sunscreen.  It's actually hard for me to describe how happy it makes me.  Today is the final day of July which means one month to go.  Usually this would put me in a bit of a panic.  Not this year.  It only makes me excited for what August will be filled with.  More of our favorites that's for sure, because if there is one thing we know how to do around here it's the business of summer.  
So, we'll just continue on with that.  

Happy day to ya.  

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