Happy Monday! I think it might be first day of school for some people. We are lucky enough to have another week of summer holiday left, which is good because Tuesday is M+L's birthday and, I don't know about you, but I like having my birthday off. Speaking of their birthday, we seem to be doing the staggering birthday celebration this year and, as opposed to one big party, we have planned some fun things through the week. This weekend we went to movies in the park with our friends for a Frozen sing-a-long. I figured it would be crowded but there must have been close to three thousand people there. I actually have no idea how to figure these numbers from just looking at a mass of people, but I know the park was packed. Usually there is space to spread out at these things but not this time. But, you know, that just made the singing all the much better. After we went out for macarons and crème brûlée. So all in all it was a great weekend.
Obviously I have a few more pictures to share from our recent trip to Montana and Idaho. One of the parts of our trip that I haven't mentioned yet was how lovely it was seeing family I hadn't seen in quite awhile. It was really nice seeing my kids get many of the same experiences that have stayed with me all the years and meet many of the people that fill my memories. I literally don't remember what I did yesterday. In fact someone just asked me "what did you do yesterday?" And I said, "um, i don't know." But my memories from 2-5 are sharp and vivid and I know it's because all my senses were so alive surrounded by all those animals and all that nature, people who really believe in "it takes a village." So I am hoping M+L will remember this experience for years to come too. I knew one of the things I could look forward to with my family was big cookouts over the campfire. But it also ended up being one of my biggest worries when I thought about our food restrictions. I didn't want to put my family out by having to accommodate us too much, nor did I want to have to sit in a corner and chew on rice cakes while everyone was enjoying a meal together. So I brought extra food, figuring gluten-free wasn't probably lining the local store shelves, but when we got to our first family meal I learned where the celiac comes from (ended up being my grandmother's family, just as I suspected). And with that we had some of the best and most plentiful of gluten-free spreads I have had, well, probably ever. There was nothing that wasn't gluten-free, including angle food cake with fresh huckleberries.
Visiting the ranch might have ranked number one for M+L. I talked all about how depressed the area is in my previous posts about our trip, but this reminded me why I have such fond memories of living in this area, I don't really remember the towns like I remember being in the woods and in creeks and on ponies. It felt just like the days of my childhood being around horses and chickens and sheep, lazying around the ranch. I was so excited that M+L were not afraid of horseback riding at all. In fact they seemed to take to it like little ducks to water, so I am thinking some more horseback riding is going to be in our future. It is so therapeutic and relaxing. In fact when we pulled them off the horse they were both almost asleep.