Long long ago, my family went on a camping trip along with two other families. Actually, it was way beyond a camping trip - we went backpacking up in the Wind Rivers. And I was about 10. It was pretty epic, and I think I, as a 10-year-old, found plenty of things to complain about. As well as being very tough, it was a beautiful trip, and there's a lot I'll always remember about it. One thing in particular was something that one of the dads used to exclaim in a booming, cheery voice every morning and then multiple times throughout the day: "It's a great day in our lives!" At first it cheered and perked us up, then it became oppressively annoying, but by the end of the trip we were all yelling it all the time, and my family still hollers it at each other every now and then. Hey, It's a great day in our lives!
This phrase has been in my head lately. Summer continues to clip along at a hectic pace and every day there is something to truly enjoy and savor. It's not easy; I'm still performing the Herculean feat of hauling myself and three kids, plus all of our accompanying luggage and necessities, on outings and occasions almost daily. But how lucky are we to have so many things to enjoy?
A week ago today I took the kids to the Aviary. I haven't been there in a couple of years and found it to be an absolute oasis of calm in the swirling activity of places kids go in the summer. Obviously not enough people go to the aviary, because, in complete opposition to places like the zoo, it was peaceful and quiet. Sure, I had to drag the kids by their ankles out of the gift shop, but once we made it through there, we had a lovely time running over the shaded paths and venturing through the many different areas. Our favorite had to be the feeding of the parrots. They have a fancier name than that, but I can't remember what it is at the moment. Sun...something. Anyway, that was the best part for sure:
Monday of course was Independence Day, and quite the busy one it was. Our church hosts a neighborhood pancake breakfast, which is all fine and good except that my husband is one of the facilitators of the event. He was superman that day and got up extra early to put in a ride up Emigration Canyon BEFORE he had to be at the church at 7:00 to set up, help cook and mingle then put it all away. By noon he was dragging slightly. He did take a break in there to let me participate in the 5k fun run, which wasn't that much fun at all! OK, it was a lovely morning and I was kept company as I plodded along by my very patient friend, and it went pretty well considering I go for a jog about once a month. As awards were handed out at the end of the race I was hoping I'd win the "I Actually Made It" prize for coming in last, but I guess they skipped that category this year. Oh well!
After a quiet afternoon, during which I forced my big kids to take a 20 minute "nap," (lie still with your eyes closed and don't talk!) we headed up to a home in Bountiful where my friend hosted a swimming and bbq party. I really wanted to be hanging out with the grownups talking, but since I had one of the only toddlers there I was in the pool much of the time. That's not such a bad way to spend the 4th of July, I know, and certainly in a few years I'll get to be with the grownups all I want. For this year, I just paddled Bundle around while cheering on Bitty and Stomper who continue to develop their swimming skills. Stomper especially has made a breakthrough this summer and is jumping off the diving board, picking up toys off the bottom of the pool and seems to have conquered his fears. Hooray!
Our final big adventure of the week was to use my groupon (I'm loving groupons!) for passes to This Is The Place Heritage Park. There is so much to do there, if you're willing to brave the heat. My friend Krista and her adorable kids showed us around and the kids had a lovely day attending old fashioned prairie school, getting a shave at the barber shop, and hanging with the farm animals. Bundle was especially enamored with the lambs, and walked around the holding pen by their sides, her hand on their backs and letting us all know that those were HER lambs.