Living the Stories Now

The hills were passing by and the friend visits were flowing as we drove home from a meeting in Bismarck yesterday afternoon.  I started doing the thing I do in my head.  The thing in which I spin about all the things I should be doing and what was on the cycle yesterday was the pictures which are piling up on this computer of mine. 

It can stress me out.  To be behind in anything.  Much less in something as important to me as my pictures and processing my thoughts in this space.   

But yesterday, with the sun shining in my window and hysterical laughing coming from my mouth as the miles whipped by, this hit me. 

Right now I'm living the stories which will become words later.

I'm creating and living my stories.  And that's the most important of all.  There has been action this summer; almost a nonstop flow of family togethers, fires, camping, laking, friends on patios and porches, running, sun soaking, laughing, driving, cooking, games, horse business, long drawn out coffee mornings, fair attending, simply playing action.  The kind which makes my heart happy.

I find sometimes I want to simply be in the moment.  And that's when the big camera stays tucked away and I quickly snap a shot with instagram instead.  Even when I'm in the ER having fish hooks removed from my ankle. 

Summer memories.  They are being made.  Right now, I'm busy doing the making.  This winter when the snow is falling down outside my window, I'll have the time to write the words.

{My instagram username is hearthappy if you are on that wagon} 


Games with the Sun

It all started as a family picnic at Brother and Sil's place.  

Taco bar with steak, chicken, and ground beef too.   Topped with three homemade cheesecakes of raspberry chocolate, plain, and the pumpkin variety.  My sister-in-law is one amazing lady.  I do believe everyone enjoyed their eats.    

The weather beckoned us to all stay outside.  It was that perfect.  So game time happened.

Now it may appear like Sister Pister and I were on a team together.  But no.  No we were not.  Cheryl and I were.  Because we are the team.  The team of Shit and Cheryl.  Sorry for the profanity but sometimes it's necessary.  Like in this case.  Because she and I have been known to be more than competitive and have found ourselves in some more than interesting predicaments over the years.  Many times of, "Shit Cheryl...what are we going to do!?"  Hence we became Shit and Cheryl.  And we tend to win.  Just ask us. 

My cousin Brian was running my camera.  Taking shots of the festivities with some gems like these weaved into his mix. 

Then I heard him yell, "The sun!  It's time Amy!"  So I rallied all of the kids and told them to run.  To run up the coulee hill as fast as they could so we could get to it.  I did a quick change from heels to tennies and burst up the hill after them.  My breath rising and falling when I reached the top to take my camera from Brian.    

And so the kids took to the very edge of the hill and started doing their thing.

While Brian and simultaneously clicked our cameras and smiled from behind our lenses. 

There are moments when I feel very alive. The moment of being behind my camera with the setting sun shining on my face capturing my family and the new extras to the clan doing some life living and memory making of their own was an I'm alive for sure kind of moment.   

Punky baby was not such of a fan of standing on the hill so she went back to her mama's arms, but the rest of the crew rocked it out.  And can I say that I really really like Buckshot's girlfriend.  It's no secret where Sister Pister's boyfriend's page lands in my book.  So it's kind of a fabulous thing; seeing teenagers who are good people.  They are creating an example for those little legs standing next to them and that makes for happy. 

You know I couldn't stop with my boyfriend named The Sun then.  Oh no way.

The heifers joined us on the hill.  We were in their pasture after all and Easy Rider loves his cattle.  It's too early to say but I'm sensing his soul is already connected to that land he is standing on and to those faces he is looking at.   

After my camera and I did our happy dance on the hill, it was back to the rest of the family and the games.  And a water bottle.  Punky was into that water bottle.   

My nieces and nephews are extremely athletic.  I'm not saying that as a proud auntie.  It's simply a fact.  Let's be real, even Punky can work the water bottle game with the best of them.  But seriously.  These kids are strong.  Coordinated too. 

And this what their dad does for a game of basketball.  Finds himself a nice outfit for the play. 

Which leads me to think, more like know, they get their athletic prowess from their mom.  Because there's really not much she isn't a winner at.  Not saying my brother isn't a winner.  I mean look at that outfit.  That is a win all the way around.   


Possibly the Best Yet

It's no secret mornings have my heart.  

But don't even get me started on a morning like my Saturday one.  

Waking up at my friends' lake cabin with the reflection of the sun off the water nearly blinding me through the window, hearing the sounds of men visiting about their trip to town to check something out, rubbing my eyes with, "What time is it?"  Hearing, "Six thirty."  Curling back in.  Not quite ready for it yet.  

Waking up again.  This time to the sounds of breakfast being prepared for the little voices which followed the pitter patter of their tiny feet.  My friend doing her mothering.  And doing it well.  

Asking, "What time is it?"  Hearing, "Seven thirty."  

Being pounced on by two poptarts who wanted to jump right on with me on that hide-a-bed.  Time for the big show of real morning.  No more of the small previews of before.  

The hair of a well slept person.  The face of, "I need some coffee." 

I get you Emma Bean.  Big brothers have a way of taking it one step too far.  To the land of squished toe.  

Moving on to the next ticket.  Muffins.  The littlest little ate her muffin all by herself thank you very much.  The sun kissing her sweet face for the entirety.   

Then, swooping up that muffin faced baby to take her out in the morning.  Enjoying coffee with constant chatter from the fishing pole carrying big sister.  

Drinking in the beautiful warm sun and the swish swish of lightly blowing tree leaves and the smell of the lake right along with my coffee.  

Swooping that baby right back up to snuggle her in for the sharing of a second cup.  This time with Danae sitting next to me.  It was some sort of magic; yet another one of those moments.  

I'm here.  I'm actually here.  Here to these parts of life I always dreamed about.  Drinking coffee and visiting with a friend while babies are held and play underfoot.  I'm here.  This is the the good stuff. 

Coffee time was slow.  The very best kind of slow.  Staying in pajamas.  Not rushing to start the next thing.  Definitely not taking time to tame the hair.  Letting the two older poptarts spill Cheerios all over because really it doesn't matter.  Lasting so long it turned into nap time.  

Now this is the really good stuff.  

Slowly, the rest of the world trickled back into our magic morning.  Fishing happened.

The deck was swept of the Cheerio massacre.  More people showed up to enjoy the day on the lake.  

Danae and I finally left our perches to get ready for the day.  But instead, we were stopped in the kitchen.  With a glance towards each other.  We both were in.  In for a detour.  We put my iphone in a bowl, each placed a baby on a hip, and sang our hearts out in an impromptu kitchen dance party.  Not caring one bit everyone trickling in was seeing us in our jammers with bedhead and hearing us belt it out and watching our not so smooth dance moves.   

When it started, I took a picture with my heart.  Many pictures with my heart in fact.  It's our thing.  To sing and dance.  Growing up won't stop us.

After the first couple songs, I finally ran out to the deck and yelled to Blake, "Will you please come here?"  Pictures in my heart weren't enough.  I wanted the real thing.  I wanted to be able to look at these pictures one day when I'm old and gray.  To look at them and know I had a best friend I danced with and sang with.  

To look at them and know I didn't care about the way I looked because I was too busy living in the right now.  Too busy with being ridiculously happy.  

To look at them and know we were a positive influence in those little girls' hearts.  An influence of throwing caution to the wind and being silly. 

To look at them and know when my little sister scanned through my camera the next day she yelled,  "I remember you and Danae doing that all the time when you lived together!  My friends and I loved it!"  Those are the things in which I want to be remembered for. 

To know on a July morning at a lake cabin, I shared in the perfect kind of morning with people I love and that this life we are a part of is oh so very good.  The kind of good I want to wrap my arms around and give an enormous squeeze hug.  While my hair looks like that of a lion of course.     


When I'm old and gray, I will look back at these pictures and smile.  And hopefully I will feel that even though mistakes were made along the way...I did some things right too. 

Kitchen singing and dancing party style.