summer * hamboards

CL0A4918Technically, 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.
CL0A4905 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.
CL0A4632And 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.
CL0A4814Kiana 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!!!
CL0A4704Laughing 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…

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teenage depression

CL0A4666 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…

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our family at home

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.

SeeJane_BeckyKimballPhoto_06 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!
SeeJane_BeckyKimballPhoto_13As 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…

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Lake Powell 2015

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…

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Independence Day

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!

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Ordinary Hero’s – Ethiopia

Myla and I went on our first Ordinary Hero mission in June. I still don’t have the right words for the experience. I shared a few of the highlights on instagram @see_jane, and I created the video above to remember as many details as possible.

I find my greatest confidence as a mom in the secret language I share with my children. During this trip that included Myla squeezing my hand when she was overwhelmed with emotions as she helped a child. A quick glance I would give Myla as children ran to greet us. Good night hugs that speak volumes. We have ways of letting each other know we need more or we’re getting enough. One on one time with our children is priceless, spending it submersed in serving others is what the goodness in life is all about. We really hope to return one day…

If you’d like to learn more about the Ordinary Hero foundation – check out their site here.

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patriotic teen via seejaneblog
teen repacking tennis bag via seejaneblog
tween skateboarding to pull in the garbage can via seejaneblog
little stylist via seejaneblog
Australian Labradoodle six month old puppy via seejaneblog

A portrait of my children (and puppy), once a week, every week, in 2015.

Kiana: This girl was chosen this past week to be on her high school dance company presidency for her senior year!!!

Myla: Softball season is over, so she spent a little time today cleaning out her bag and prepping her tennis bag. This week she starts more training and matches!

KJ: He comes up with some creative ways to endure his chores.

Sela: I surprised her with a new pair of sandals for summer, and walked in the room to see her setting them up with a paper towel behind them to take a photo!

Wellesley Baloo: Officially six months old! Growing like a weed.

all photos by me, Jane Rhodes

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tour around my home: bathrooms, mudroom, and more details

Concrete shower, wood trim window via seejaneblogThis week’s tour around my home includes little details from all over our home that I wouldn’t include in their own separate post. Small peeks at our bathrooms, mud room, and trims are included. I have a thing for really simple, earthy details. You just can’t go wrong with such elements, and they lend themselves to the modern aesthetic in our home. Plus, they make me immediately happy. All of the concrete work is custom by a local artisan – Brian Thompson – you can find him on instagram @handcraft_concrete_design

All photos by Becky Kimball. Read more…

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Boston Red Sox fan via seejaneblog
teen silhouette via seejaneblog
boy tween style via seejaneblog
American girl doll and girl matching glasses via seejaneblog
Australian Labradoodle puppy after a bath getting warm via seejaneblogA portrait of my children (and puppy), once a week, every week, in 2015.

Kiana: Sox hat for the win.

Myla: “Mom!!! What shoes should I wear? What would look good with this?” Every day. I love it.

KJ: Boys fashion is all about the socks these days.

Sela: Officially has her own little space in our house for her toys. The struggle has been real, folks. This girl doesn’t just play with toys she designs and creates and builds little worlds for everything. The past couple years we’ve been moving her creations all over the house or the puppy gets them or friends visit and take them apart, or we need to clean and move them somewhere else – and there have been sad, genuine meltdowns multiple times. Not anymore. She can create now in the privacy of her own attic playroom – hence, the American girl doll stuff is out in full force!

Wellesley Baloo: This is what she does after a bath – she hides or buries herself in a blanket to get warm and doesn’t come out for HOURS till she’s almost dry!

All photos by me, Jane Rhodes

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Moab under canvas glamping via seejaneblog
Moab Utah outdoor style via seejaneblog
Moab under canvas deluxe safari tent via seejaneblog
Moab Utah via seejaneblog
Australian labradoodle bike ride via seejaneblogA portrait of my children (and puppy), once a week, every week, in 2015.

Kiana: With all her might, she is hoping our family never camps or glamps again. She loves the outdoors but does not like sleeping in the outdoors. Her tent didn’t have a wood stove or heater and the cold nightly temps were not friendly.

Myla: Currently suffering from intense shin splints. For weeks she has been icing, massaging, stretching, taking it easy when it comes to running/walking/hiking, going to physical therapy and we are all hoping they heal soon!!!

KJ: While in Moab, Utah for spring break we spent one afternoon at a cool music park. KJ was laying on a blanket enjoying a sunny outdoors rest with another blanket over him – when he had his iPhone and said, “I wish I had a pillow app!” (the kids all had their own tents or tipi’s – to share with friends – we still ended up with a kid in our bed each morning!)

Sela: “Best spring break ever! Best trip ever!!!” She shed a few tears when it was time to leave Moab.

Wellesley Baloo: Her first bike ride in the bike basket the Easter Bunny brought her! She did NOT want to sit down and relax. We’re hoping with time and more rides she might like this idea!

All photos by me, Jane Rhodes

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moab | spring break 2015

We like Moab, Utah. So for the second year in a row we planned spring break in the land of red arches with friends and good food attached.

If you are thinking about going there, might I suggest:

Glamping at Moab Under Canvas.
Any and every meal at Peace Tree Juice Cafe.
Don’t miss the “Rotary Park” music park.
Rock climbing on “wall street” – shown at the beginning of our film.
Razoring on Hell’s Revenge – a 4×4 trail.
And obviously, Arches National Park and Canyonlands.

Video created by me, Jane Rhodes

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tour around my home: master bedroom

Steam Punk Industrial Modern bedroom steel wall via seejaneblogIt is time for another tour around my home! Today I am showing you our master bedroom. It’s a mix of our bedroom, my home-computer-work area – I know it’s not wise to put a computer area in a bedroom because it can distract one from sleeping, but my art room in the basement kills our wifi signal due to a steel door down there – so the bedroom it is! And, this room also qualifies as a second living room. Often times, our family and my kids’ friends congregate in this space. Not sure why – maybe it’s the unique cozy fireplace or beautiful natural light that shines in – or the open space – but I’m happy they feel comfortable enough to do so!

All photos are by the talented – Becky Kimball. Details about this room: We have kept the room basic and light with warm materials & textures such as wood and sheepskin. The bed is custom built and attached to the floor. I love the mix of concrete and contrasting wood. I’ve chosen not to over-furnish this room because I like the open airy space. The chandelier is custom. The steel baseboards, and steel wall-fireplace are custom, industrial, steam punk details that contrast well with the white walls.

My computer desk and sheepskin are from IKEA, the mustard-patterned throw on our bed is from Interwoven. The camel colored vintage chair is from the vintage shop Tomorrow’s House in SLC. Next week I will be showing you details from our mud room and bathroom. Previous tours: living room, hallway, and the kitchen.

Read more…

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