Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Great Outdoors

Nothing beats the Autumn outdoors. The bountiful colors. The dense earthy smells. The crisp evening air. If we could just go ahead & push Pause on this season for the next six months, I'm pretty sure I'd be cool with that. So much to do, so much to see, so much to breathe in. And this past weekend, we dunked ourselves right into the middle of it all & spent an entire weekend delighting in the great outdoors.

Saturday marked Aunt Elaine's Annual Weenie Roast. And just like last year & the year before that, we had ourselves a ball.

A dozen kids & not a single word about television or video games or ipads or boredom. When you've got acres to roam, tractors to climb upon, a horse to feed snacks to & sticks to collect--well then, what more is there? It's simple & there's something so very beautiful about simple.

And while Lulla couldn't join the pack of kids & run like wild with them, she still sipped her own cup of countryside & enjoyed it to the last drop.

'Grandma the Great'

As daylight hours wind down, that's when the barn really comes to life. We load our plates with hot dogs roasted over an open fire, chips & homemade salsa, creamy potato salad, freshly baked cookies & we chow down. Some of us sit on hay bales, while others gather around small card tables & there in that barn, we share life with family members we don't see often enough. 

By the looks of things, I'd say Meatball is giving Uncle Gary & Grandma the Great the business.

And then we conclude the evening with Aunt Elaine's games & fabulous prizes. The kids get loud & crazy & the grown ups sit back & enjoy the show... because trust me, it's always a good one. That is, when we aren't ducking & running from that stick they're swinging at the pinata. 

All the kids think Jared is a kid, too.  So he gets to play.

Even though Jett was begging to stay "just one more minute" for about the hundredth time, we knew a two hour drive & a bedtime routine awaited us. So we hugged our loved ones, said our good-byes & traveled back down a dusty dirt road until we reached the stretch of highway that would sail us home. We left the farm, the fun & the beautifully simple behind, but we took home with us a great big boatload of memories.

That & the excitement that we get to do it all again next year.


Sunday afternoon, the great outdoors kind of fell into our laps.

I was really wanting to find a great spot to do that pumpkin shoot with Lulla. A friend recommended the most beautiful trail/lake here in our town, so I thought we'd take a little outing & scope it out. I had driven by this trail/lake a gazillion times before & never had even the slightest inkling of what a true treasure it really is. What started off as a photo shoot ended in a full blown half day nature walk.

It was glorious.

Lulla posed in a pumpkin.

And my boy, he did what he does.

He ran.

His feet hitting the ground. The wind in his hair. Sweat on his brow. He's always had a thing for it.

He ran & explored & I watched the boy inside of him be nurtured & fed.

{We've named this little spot "Leaf Lane". And we have some big plans for "Leaf Lane". Just you wait}

Acorns, hedge apples, sticks, leaves, & things I have no idea of their name--he calls them his "treasures" & insists on stuffing them in his pockets. So every evening I clear pockets so that the treasures don't go through the wash. And I smile. 'Cause I really love being a mom to a little boy.

{This face, full of wonder. Love}

Miss Lulla Beans could have done without being squished into a hollowed out pumpkin, but she did enjoy the rest of our nature walk. When she wasn't gazing at the tree tops above her, she was snoozing away to the crunching & rustling of leaves beneath her.

Fall just keeps on keepin' on--delivering in ways I could have never planned. We've still got a few things left to check off our Fall bucket list, one of those being another visit to this newfound gem.

There are lots more treasures waiting to be found out there in the great outdoors & we are off to find them.


  1. Love the simplicity of "farm life" and being out in the country. I'm originally from Iowa, and every time we go back "home", my heart aches the entire way back to KC. It's always hard to return to the business of city life.

  2. You always have such beautiful pictures. We are about to get a new camera, what kind do you have and do you recommend it??

    1. Thank you, Catie! I am certainly no pro but I have a lot of fun taking photos for fun. I have a Canon Rebel xsi & YES, YES, YES I definitely recommend it! If you've never operated a DSLR camera before, this is such a great camera to start with. I have had my camera for almost three years & I am still learning something new everyday. Let me know what you decide to get. You'll want a decent lens to start out with as well. We can talk lenses later if you'd like =)