Technically, I LOVE every season of the year – which is one reason I love living in Utah. But. Summer is by far my favorite. It just makes me happier than any of the other seasons, and one of my favorite favorite things is the time we spend outside as a family.
As each summer approaches I try to plan just a few things for each kid that they want to do. Just enough to keep them active, engaged, and yet enjoy as many lazy mornings and downtime as they can in-between. I’ve always veered away from “summer bucket lists” just to not feel like we have to be doing something planned all the time. With older kids I’ve found that they prefer the freedom and because I live for warm spontaneous moments. However, I do mentally create seasonal inspiraction boards – like an invisible mood board.
And this photo shoot was in my mental mood board all summer. Thanks to Mindy Johnson – on IG as @mindymoveit, she captured our outside family time perfectly.
This past Easter, our kids received hamboards (me thinking: ha! that’s the perfect EASTER surprise, get it? Dorky, I know. But that’s how my mind works…) and a good portion of our summer time has been spent trying to master them. My kiddos all love long boards, penny boards – but the hamboards are an all new game. Land surfing. WAY trickier. First of all, some of them are HUGE. The smaller boards – like the biscuit (Sela’s) and the fish (KJ’s) are easy to use – like traditional boards.
family life/ husband/ jane/ kiana/ KJ/ myla/ raising teenagers/ sela/ teenagers
Kiana bear has spent her summer working at Pro Look Sports, and she also worked at Sundance mountain resort for their summer events. She spends lots of time by a pool with friends and endless outdoor adventures – she’s always hiking, long boarding down the canyon, or doing something fun somewhere with LOTS of friends. I think we hosted at least ten teenager volleyball/party nights at our house – I’m sorry (again) to our neighbors and all the noise that comes from our dwelling at times. late at night. Just try to remember – these kids could be doing worse things and we’re keeping them in one spot having clean good fun!!!
Laughing with my girls is the best thing in the world. I drink it all in, this could be the last summer they are all home with me if Kiana leaves for school somewhere else next year… Read more…
This photo. It means a lot to me. Kiana has had a phenomenal year, or even more than that – maybe eighteen months which followed a few years of some real trials. When she was thirteen, we moved to Boston. She was thrilled to be going on the adventure – embraced everything we were planning. Then soon after we moved is when I found out I had cancer. Now – looking back all of her struggles make sense. But at the time, it was so confusing to feel like a daughter who had always been a happy overachieving soul was struggling with so many new challenges. With puberty (something my girls go through very fast and early) she had intense migraine headaches that came on suddenly and wiped her out for sometimes a few days/week. The headaches and missing school of course would snowball stress. She’d get behind at school, for the first time in her life she was getting lower grades on assignments and tests. This is also a two year period where she decided to stop training in dance. We felt like she was making decisions completely out of her character, and did our best to support her. She was particularly unkind to me at times, and my husband and I could not figure out what was going on. Read more…
jane/ kiana/ parenting/ raising teenagers/ teenagers
A month ago, Gabrielle Blaire of Design Mom featured our home in her Living With Kids Tour series. This was the second time she’s featured one of our homes – the first time was our Boston home. Here’s a few photos by Becky Kimball of our life at home that didn’t make the final cut – if you’d like to see the tour it’s right here.
Wellesley Baloo is so little in these pictures! She hadn’t had all her shots yet, so she wasn’t even being groomed yet! A fluffy little messy ball of cuteness!
As some of you may already know I’ve been going through an anti-toy phase for a while. I’m just tired of organizing, storing, and buying toys!!! After almost eighteen years of being a mom. Anyway. I try to get creative to keep my momentum going – this past year my kids had mostly quit playing with their lego’s – unless it was a new kit to put together they weren’t sitting down to build stuff with our thousands of free floating lego’s anymore.
So. I spent some days and maybe weeks sorting out ALL of the white ones. And I gave away the rest. This idea was inspired by the all white lego architectural set that KJ owns – and I added those to the mix too. Then I found a faux cement planter bowl and filled it with all the white lego’s and I now leave it sitting on our kitchen table. It looks minimalistic/modern, and it appeals to all ages! I frequently have teenagers sit down at the kitchen table and build the coolest buildings/stuff with the white lego’s! Just sharing the idea – in case you’re in the same boat as me and tired of small toys consuming your homes! Read more…
Australian Labradoodle/ home decor/ husband/ jane/ kiana/ KJ/ myla/ our home/ sela
When Dusty and I were in college – I was in the Alpha Phi sorority, and he was in the Sigma Chi fraternity. Each spring his fraternity would “marry” my sorority and go on a greek honeymoon to Lake Powell. In the early summer of 1995 we went on our first trip to Powell together and mutually fell in love with the lake… while we continued to fall in love. Cheesy? yes.
Since that year I can make a rough guess that we’ve returned to Powell maybe a dozen or more times. When our kids were all young we spent years going on “couples” trips – we’d fill 1-2 houseboats with about 15 couples sans kids and enjoy the time away from parenting littles. Once our kids were old enough to feel they were safe to be on the lake 24/7 we started going as a family, and as often as possible we make the trip an annual summer event.
Our kids love it as much as we do – whether that’s genetic or we’ve convinced them to love it, the entire week we are at Powell I hear comments like, “this is the best week of my life ever year!” “I wish I lived at Powell all year long!” and my heart smiles because – going to Powell is a LOT of work. Their passion included with ours always makes it worth it!
We make our reservations every year when there’s still snow on the ground. It takes weeks to organize meals, days to do the shopping, hours and hours to do the loading and unloading. And yet, we do it all for these lake filled days that are packed full of untamed laughter and time together. I am still unpacking after being home a few days, the laundry continues, my garage looks unrecognizable. And yet, I will watch this video over and over and over and all the while smiling shamelessly at the goodness. Life is so ruthlessly amazing at times.
We’re already talking about next year…
Australian Labradoodle/ film/ husband/ jane/ kiana/ KJ/ Lake Powell/ myla/ sela/ vimeo
July 4th – The pinnacle of summer here in Utah, our fourth was spent well. The holiday co-exists with our local Provo Freedom Festival which includes hot air balloon launches every morning for three days, a grand parade – LOTS of people stay up all night to camp out for good viewing spots and that includes most of the teenagers staying out all night, a 5K and 10K race, a carnival, and more…
I mentioned this on instagram, but will repeat myself here: This past spring we started watching home videos from when our older kids were little. We spent weeks watching them and Sela was the most obsessed – seeing what life was like in our family before her… she loved it, and watched them over and over. If you can even imagine – I used to take a LOT more videos than I do now, and after watching these it inspired me to take more videos again – create more. So, I’ve decided that after making videos for most of our trips the past couple of years – I also want to make videos now for holidays, seasons, ANY occasion I hope to remember – simple days at home. If you thought I took a lot of videos before (friends & family) — brace yourselves – you have no idea what you’re in store for now!!! So on the long celberated weekend of July 4th here in Utah county, I took some of my favorite memories and put them tighter to one of my current favorite summer songs. One of my very favorite moments of the weekend was biking to the “candy bombers” last candy bomb here in Orem – if you don’t know the story of the candy bomber – check it out here.
happy independence, America!
Australian Labradoodle/ film/ husband/ jane/ kiana/ KJ/ myla/ sela/ vimeo