I feel like my blog posts this summer are a broken record. We're busy. Life is full. It's summer. Repeat. My head spins circles around my neck as I juggle the quirky duties of a given day. Just tonight: we harvested 160 head of garlic, installed a light in the chicken coop as a last-ditch effort to train our pea-brained hens to return to their home at dusk, contemplated how to remove the stench from the rubber boots Hazel insists on wearing without socks in 90 degree heat, and calculated how much longer I can ignore the 6 loads of clean laundry piled on my studio floor.
In my fantasy world, summers are slow and lazy, steamy, hot, mint julip-sipping on shady porches. In reality, my lazy comes with winter and she's curled up next to a fire sipping whiskey-laced hot chocolate, brandishing knitting needles and rubbing the cold from her toes. We live in the mountains, not the south, after all.
Despite my best intentions of largely staying home this summer, I cannot ignore the calling of far-flung family and friends. It has been the summer of long-lost relatives and it's-been-too-long friends. The kind of relatives you haven't seen in a decade or more and for no good reason. The kind of friends you haven't seen in 3 years and yet you pick up conversation as though it's been 3 days and nothing's really changed because it hasn't.
My mom was here for a week and then a week on the road together, visiting family. I have very little photo documentation of this fact (that my mom was here), but if you came over you would see my sparkling windows and the stack of books she tirelessly read to Juniper.
Upon returning from family visits in Laramie and Cheyenne, my mom and I both had a 36-hour turnaround before embarking once again. She drove back home, I gathered my family and drove to Bozeman, Montana to eat, drink and witness our friends get married. Now here I am, back home, wrangling chicken brains and toddler boots.
:: Snaps. Mostly July, a little August. Some of these photos are almost a month old! Times like this, I get Instagram-envy. Speaking of envy, Hazel gets bike-envy but that's about to change. Anyway. Snaps. Evening rides to the berry patch:
:: Hazel runs, a lot, in that charming way toddlers do: all knee-slapping, high-stepping but barely projecting forward.
:: Hazel also insists that I wear a helmet while...walking, or cooking, or....
:: How she starts her mornings as a second-born.
:: My man and I celebrated our ten year anniversary by...drumroll...finishing the chicken coops and getting the dusty little buggers outside of our garage. On the bright side, my mom had just arrived and happily watched the kids while we went out to dinner--just the two of us--for the first time in almost 4 years. Holy shit.
^Pictured here in front of the Red Rangers' (the meat birds) chicken tractor.^
10 years ago:
But those damned chickens are happy. Now we just need a fenced run/garden mote for the hens.
^The hen house. One day soon...oh, hell, it will probably be on my 38th birthday...there will be a run attached to this living space.^
:: Since our camping trip to Devil's Tower, there has been a climbing and bear-clawing obsession in my house. In this lego rendition, a sister escapes from the clawing rhino-dino (I mean bear).
In this version, the first sister throws a rope to the baby sister and dog, rescuing them from the clawing bears.
My step-dad was born and raised in Wyoming and his art is a reflection of the stories that nurtured him. I am so grateful to own so much of his art. This is his early rendition of Bear's Tipi (Devil's Tower). Juniper insisted we move it to her dresser.
:: We took my mom out on the river. Peaceful. Cool. Bald eagles lining the banks.
My man oared the raft, wrangled the children and fished. Talk about multi-tasking.
^Mom, you're either going to love me or hate me for this one. I think it's a great photo.^
Hazel took pride in dragging around a stringer of cutthroat trout.
:: Laramie and Cheyenne. Visited good friends...
Relatives I hadn't seen since my wedding day (see above photo)...
Met and played with (then hugged and missed) a new cousin...
Explored town. Juniper chose this pink "infants" stocking cap for Hazel. She wears it like a two-foot tall thug on the warmest days.
Juniper: torn between her fear of wind and wanting to watch trains.
The day-long drive back home. Even now, almost two weeks later, she wears the glasses upside down. She knows they're upside down and she likes it that way. Style.
The road home. My windshield. And goofing around with my new camera (squeee!!!!!!!!!!).
:: Laundry, baths, back in the car and up to Bozeman. Bone-crushing bear hugs and friends who are more than that.
A Montana wedding and this lady. Oh, *this* lady (and her sly guy, not pictured here). Miss them.
Yo. Ten years baby. (Does he need a new hat?)
Oh. I almost forgot. Take note all future newlyweds and wedding planners: There was a kid's room at this wedding complete with kid comfort-food, toys, kid movies and 3 babysitters. Babysitters! Juniper thought she'd died and gone to heaven. She ate so much fruit she crapped her pants. Hazel wasn't going for it and every time her eagle-eyes pinpointed me, she started bawling. My man was one of many dudes donning an Ergo and toting a baby on the front while the women got drunk and danced. In the end, I had the most fun dancing half-blitzed with our gaggle of children. These are the days.