Outtakes: Real Life Lately

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Making Homemade Root Beer for Miles’ Birthday.

I cannot believe that June is nearly over! I just can’t. I looked forward to this summer for what seemed like forever, and now it is FLYING by!

Perhaps this is due to the joy we’ve had in our everyday as of late. I did an outtakes post a few months ago, HERE. I talked a lot about balance, perfection, and REAL life moments that take place behind the blog curtain, and thought that it might be the perfect way to talk about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness openly and honestly here on the blog.

I’ve already mentioned that we’ve had the most WONDERFUL opportunity to have some special friends visit our house a couple times a week this summer. First of all, these two sweet little ladies are GIRLS and their dispositions, attitudes, and personalities are very different from my two BOYS.

The contrast has been delightful. They all seem to genuinely enjoy one another’s company, and have even been known to ask for one another through the weekend. As in, “When are Little J, and Miss I coming back to play?!?”

I’ve also posted a few pictures on Instagram, but along with our friends we have been able to take horseback riding lessons every Monday. (Thank you Sue!!!!!) This opportunity has been absolutely priceless. The girls have had a lot of experience with horses from birth right on up. They have their own horse, and are honing their horsemanship skills.

The boys are totally new to horses and horseback riding. My oldest is especially excited and counts down the days each week until he returns to the ranch. I cannot properly describe how heavenly that spot is for us. The first day of riding they got up and dressed themselves in their finest cowboy attire which was really code for their old Halloween costumes and went to it!

The blue sky, lazy clouds, smell of the deep, rich earth, hay being cut and turned and baled and brought in. The tall grasses and clover, the dance of the flies and the breeze across the flood-irrigated fields. The warm sun and the trips around the arena on Peppy, or Dan-o, or a special ride on Zoro behind Mimi. Alta and Finn, the two yellow labs, and after-lesson rides on the four wheeler to check on water, or see the progress of haying. Heaven.

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Another highlight of this summer has been the renovation of our backyard. Affectionately hash-tagged #sheddeckfence, my husband went TO TOWN on all things backyard construction related. From the outdoor lighting to custom window well covers, to the perfect adirondack chairs, to the finishing touch of the prayer flags he has carefully styled every part of this project.

He is still busy finishing a backyard fire pit complete with natural gas pipping, built-in benches along the fence, and a beautiful fire bowl to finish things off! It’s all in the details, and I love him for it.

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IMG_6032Other high points have been time spent on the river for Father’s Day, and many miles logged on bicycles. Yes, there is photographic evidence that our kid ate a donut the size of his head, and the Farmer’s Market started up again on Thursday evenings replete with pupusas, grilled corn, sweet mint limeade, and local music.

The boys’ received a go-cart for a shared birthday present front their Grandma! Thank you, Robin! And I received some fresh eggs from Tonya, Yum, yum. THANK YOU!

Water sports of every kind from the slip n’ slide, to sprinklers, to water balloons are in full effect. The frogs in the last shot are Miles’ favorite toy. Shiny, cuddly, colorful, filled with tiny beads, specially ordered by our local grocer to make him smile! 🙂 Thank you Lindsay and Rena!!!

We’re doing all this while trying to keep the toilets clean, the laundry at bay, and the dishes from turning into a scene from Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout!

Summer, you’ve been good to us. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have other goals I need to tackle. I read an interesting article about FUN today in the Deseret News. Brooke Romney, the author, wanted to point out that we’ve grown up in a culture that worships that term. We base a lot of our time and effort and energy in the pursuit of this FUN, and sometimes we need to realize that being a fun chaser actually just leaves you thrusting for the next created high.

What about the value of hard work, trying to give your best in all you do, developing the skills to be a true friend, investing time into hard tasks. These things don’t often get the hype and the excitement, but they actually can be enjoyable, fun, and allow you to deepen your success, satisfaction, and personhood. You can read her article here.

I still need to jump on a chore list for my boys, and figure out how to set up a balance where they are asked to be responsible and contribute to home life maintenance before I end up writing them a letter like this, WORTH THE READ! I hope you are all experiencing an awesome summer however you’ve chosen or been able to use your time!

XX, Megan

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