Sunday, November 5, 2017

Sunday, October 8, 2017

two thoughts.

1. One way to know that you are too overbooked is to try and do your life and then watch it not work. Actually that is the only way I know how to know this.  Evy just asked me, "if on Friday you said that girl-scouts is on Saturday and today is Sunday but we never went to girl scouts what does that mean?" I'm pretty sure I forgot because I was too bummed out for not having had my boys go to their ballet class on Saturday morning...while we were all in the studio. I kid you not, we were there on time and dressed for class. I got to talking to the other ballet parents and before I knew it class was over and my boys had spent the last hour arm-wrestling in the lobby. 
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2. I had two thoughts when I started writing, I swear. Oh, well. I'll probably remember tomorrow and be like, "dang-it!"
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pet-life of riley.

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you are my catch.

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

camp alpine.

we go to a church that believes in families. it believes in families so much it buys recreation properties all over the place, staffs those properties with full-time missionary volunteers, and equips those properties with all the goodies a families could wish. ropes courses, zip lines, archery ranges.

the fee to use the property and everything on it is something like $1 per person.

which frees us up to live what we know. instead of seeking after riches we seek to follow the Savior and we trust that He'll give us richness in our families. when we pay our tithing faithfully (we pay 10% of all we earn to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) we know it will come back to us in blessings every time.
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i remember when i was young i would hear my wealthy peers talking about their weekends at sun-river. i don't even know where that is but i'm pretty sure it's exclusive and spendy by the social status it supported. 

i think there's a danger in our church, though. not in the set-up but in the people. it could easily become an exclusive, club-like world. the kids at school might hear my children going on about camp alpine with their friends who are also members of the church. camp alpine might feel like sun-river to someone on the outside.
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anyone can go there.

because the camp is maintained by the church there are high standards of conduct. drinking and cursing would be completely out of place there. some behaviors totally acceptable in our society (like unmarried couples sharing a tent) would be a break of sacred trust there.

so members of the church are sometimes hesitant to invite friends who do not share their views. not because they don't love them, just because it's embarrassing to say, "we want you there but you can't smoke" and it's even harder to say, "come with us but please dress more modestly."
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it makes me think of the scripture in James 1 of the Bible (love that chapter) that lays out exactly what religion is supposed to be...

"pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."
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i read that...pure religion is not an elite social club only for people who fit the mold. it's about lifting others who need lifting.

but i am going to be totally honest, it is a lot easier to keep myself unspotted from the world when i'm surrounded by people with high moral standards.
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camp alpine is the way i imagine a swimming hole in the 50s. the people there wouldn't dare leave trash behind and nature is as pure as dirt there. total strangers stop for friendly chats as they weave around the lake in canoes. everyone seems to be watching out for every child and if someone wanders off (which has been known to happen) the whole camp mobilizes in prayer and search action.

it's almost unreal. 
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in a world where individual freedoms are priority and individual responsibilities to the community are shrugged it can be hard to feel entirely safe. 

i hope my friends and family not of our faith that have come with us to camp alpine have been able to feel that safety and that peace.

what they are feeling is our religion, pure and undefiled.
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if my kids talk about their weekends at camp alpine i hope the do so in humility. i hope they realize what a blessing it is to belong to our church and what a responsibility they have to be what they believe.
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i am overwhelmed by the blessing the camp has been and will continue to be to our family.
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it's exactly what we hoped for them.
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(more about lds camps here.)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

their farm.

i'll have to make a list for this post. this is a list sort-of post. because without some rigid backbone it will end up mushy.

so what type of list?

a list of favorite things about farmsitting. too many to list.

a list of favorite things about the farm owners. WAY too many... ok, megan get a hold of yourself, this is a puddle of goo happening before your eyes.
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i got it...TOP 10 MOST MEMORABLE FARM STORIES.
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10. finn found his way to the tip top of the chicken coop. from up there he could count ever beak, spy every possible predator, and claim his place as 'finn of the flock.' he'd studied them intently from the ground, mimicked their every behavior, sampled their food. he was chicken, only super brave, and on the roof. until his human parents spotted him and asked him to get down. sneakily planning to cling to the far side of the pitch, out of sight until the coast was clear, finn made a discovery. wasp nest, ouch. two stings and two thumbs up for a thrilling adventure (see above picture).

celeste (amazing farm-girl and friend-extraordinaire) found finn's shirt in the coop after they got home and i assumed he'd thrown it off during the wasp attack. but he is clearly wearing a shirt post wasp photos... so that shirt in the coop probably has a story all its own.
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9. ossi insisted on mucking the stall completely solo. after the horse-hold was sift-spiffed he thought, "i shall dump this doo in the place for the poo," which makes total sense. pushing the wheelbarrow merrily along he opened the pasture gate and walked right in. then misty trotted right out. misty thought, "the grass is actually greener on the other side of this-here fence." barefoot matt was watching from a distance and thought, "oh, crap. she will run away and be gone and our friend will miss their horse." picture barefoot matt chasing a horse over gravel. i said matt.
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8. the weeds screamed for mercy. too bad for them it was in a frequency out of our hearing range. we promised ourselves five. five full wheelbarrow loads of weeds vanquished. the gloves were so good to us. the garden tools worked like magic. the weeds gave way as we raced down the row until they didn't and matt noticed my path diverging. i thought, "five full is five full, i'm going where the weeds are like butter." but matt needed those rows to be clean. even though there were no veggies to save. even though the weeds at the end were not going down without a fight.

speaking of fights, after nearly twelve years of marriage we know there are only a small handful of things to fight about- lots of surface things to get mad about but after some digging it always comes back to that little handful of quirks. unsolvable wars that are actually solvable but it will take so long that we'll be dead first.

so we had a few words about one of our wars. but we actually just ended up flirting because it's unsolvable right now and we're okay with that. then i helped him weed that patch because i wanted to, not because he wanted me to.
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7. the kids would walk into the house in the morning looking so tired and stiff and miserable. they'd be porcupines with  poky hay spines. then around evening one would say, "let's sleep in the loft again!" and the fists would fly up like four-stars.
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6. i didn't know if an alarm would sound soon. my eyes opened to the dark and my feet pulled me outside before i'd even had time to ask myself if i wanted to be up yet. this sensation was otherworldly, this urge to be under the deep-blue as it turned sweet shades of sky. i wanted to hear a horse chuckle at me like i'd been so clever, even if i knew the joke was on me because there i was hauling her hay and shoveling up after. she knew i was so green and she stomped to let me know she'd had swifter service, but she also existed in a space outside time. before alarms. like i wanted to be out there brushing her more than i wanted another hour of sleep and that's saying a lot. all the same she was her own creature and she didn't need me to be anything more than my own creature as long as we made food a top priority. and i don't know how else to say what it is to be around a horse.  photo farmsummer 40 of 46_zpsxznqtleb.jpg
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5. my kids may forever have dreams of the puddle path between the pool and the bath tub. celeste taught them about jet-tub-bubble baths. she taught them before we farm-sat and they practiced like good students of any art. one of them will say, "remember the pool and hot tub at the farm?" and they'll moan longingly.
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4. The underwear pool-noodle fight wasn't half bad either.
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3. my boots would crunch over the thorny path. a dog on each side, i was invincible. i walked those woods like i'd grown on one of the trees and sprouted legs one day. i knew the dogs needed me to be confident and fast and bossy so that they would feel safe and not need to fight one another. i knew we needed to travel like a pack each morning in strike formation just to keep the peace, to build their trust. we'd walk like that then they'd smell something and they were gone, chasing. i'd realize i was in an unfamiliar wood and that i wasn't anybody's boss in there any more. i'd be overcome with the magic of it, that feeling like i might happen upon a spring-of-immortality or fairy wedding.
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2. if the kids were awake they would tell me to write about the legos. my side of that story was the time to read while they played quietly. it was real, guys. i read. and went through my cyclical crisis about my own purpose on earth. i sat on the edge of a tub and talked to my husband about what we are and what we want. we decided that it's been too long since our marriage has been on the front burner. we have been experiencing regular things (school, work, kids) and irregular things (his mom and sister living with us, then my parents and sister living with us) and we have honestly not had very much time for intention in our marriage. what we are and what we want.

we are happily married. we want to make the things we've been dreaming about for years happen.

and the kids want legos.
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1. the eclipse. was. amazing.

matt and i had a different experience outside when the sky was dark and then a bright light shined. it also involved a moon. we were having an alone moment in our tent one night when a kid showed up with a flashlight.

both experiences were very memorable.
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hopefully that wasn't too terribly mushy. just don't get me talking too much about how much i love and look up to celeste... or about how much i adore her kids... don't ask me tell you what kind of family they are and how living in their house was like living inside of general conference... if general conference was a house.

she keeps trying to thank me and i'm like, huh?
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so yeah, we didn't really farm-sit. we were farm-sat-on. and it was awesome.
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