I love my dad. He is one of my greatest heroes. If you know him, you know that he has a passion for his yard. After my parents built their home, they started from scratch on their 3 acre lot. I remember right after we moved, working in the weeds...I mean, yard...with my siblings picking up rocks so that dad could lay grass seed. And you better believe I complained with every rock that I put in my bucket. The things parents put up with from their children! Since that time, my dad has put his heart and soul into the yard. And it shows. I honestly don't know how he does it. I can barely manage to maintain my staggering TWO flower beds. My mom and dad do it together. It's cute. I love going home during the summer months just to hang out in their yard. One of the focal points in the back is affectionately known as "The Garden of Love." It came to be the summer of my wedding. My parents were motivated to get it ready for our August backyard reception. I remember being at the house the day of the reception and my dad taking Shane and me out to walk "the garden of love." He made us walk through the archway and kiss afterwards. We did as he asked, of course. Even took pictures. It was pretty romantic Especially with my dad standing with us! :) The night of our reception, the backyard was pure magic. The garden of love has matured so much since then. It's more beautiful than ever, especially as my dad adds to it every year as our family grows. Though the pictures don't do it justice, let me walk you through it.
If you'll notice, there are figurines throughout the garden. Each represents the love birds of the family. He finds just the perfect one as each child gets married.
Meet Aaron and Natalie. They are studying the for the LSAT together.
This is Shane and Me. It poured on our wedding day. Perfect.
This is Wynn and Lindsay
And here we have Luke and Brittany!
Lauren has been making requests for her future statue. I think it is currently a man on a horse.
Aren't they just sweet?
So this year my dad made another addition. He found tree stumps perfect for sitting. He decided to create a spot just for them. He says it's the place where any conversation can happen...open honest discussions. In fact, he told Carson and Cade that whenever they want to talk to their Grandpa and ask him any question or need to talk, to just come to The Garden of Love and sit on those stumps and that he would be there. He walked the boys out and you know I needed pictures. It just made my heart happy! Hopefully there will be lots of stump-sitting in our future. :)
The rest of the yard is wonderful too. Lots of cute benches and beautiful flower beds. Here are a few other spots.
I'm so grateful for a father who is gentle, kind, sentimental, & full of love. He makes every day, ordinary things special, no matter how small and simple they be. He is the perfect example of one who finds "joy in the journey". I want to be like him when I grow up.
At the end of August, Shane and I celebrated our 9 year Anniversary. Really? Seems crazy! Tom and Annette were kind enough to take our boys for a night. So we dropped them off at Grandma's (you would have thought they were going to Disneyland they were so excited) and we made our way to Miracle Hot Springs. Yes. We camped. Despite what you might think, it was pretty darn romantical. Camping without kids alongside hot springs? Yep. It was fun. Here was our little site.
Can you see the water here? Dark phone pictures are awesome.
In the morning we packed up and made our way back to Twin. We ate breakfast at a cute little breakfast diner before picking up the kids. They didn't even know we were gone.
Afterward, we me Wynn and Lindsay and got ready to party at the fair. Classy TF Fair.
Chandler was refusing to smile in these pictures. He cracks me up.
There. We got him to crack a smile. :)
Hot babe taking in the beautiful sites and sounds...and the smoke filled air.
Like Chan's newest "cheese" face? Me too. If you don't like his then take a look at Carson's.
We only did a handful of rides. That place is such a racket! Boys didn't complain and enjoyed the 5 rides they got to go on.
Then it was off to the rodeo. I had never been to a rodeo before. Can you believe it? I was impressed and am now a little more okay with Lauren's dream of marrying a real-live cowboy!