Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Adventures in the Fairy Forest

Last weekend, we had a fun vacation with Scotty's family in Park City. For one of our activities, we went on a small hike to the Fairy Forest up Mirror Lake Highway.

Let me preface this by saying I am kicking myself for not taking my "real" camera. I had every intention of charging the battery and getting some great photos of our weekend, but in the hustle and bustle of getting packed, I completely forgot my camera. I remembered when we were about 20 minutes away from home. Scotty kindly offered to turn around and go back home to get it, but I settled for the cell phone.


All that is to say that the following pictures are very unimpressive.

The Fairy Forest is hard to explain, partially because I don't really know how it came to be. It's a place in the Unita mountains where people take painted rocks and well... leave them. You can easily spend hours there looking at rocks.

Yep. Rocks.

With Paint.

Here are some of the things we saw in the Fairy Forest (and by "some" I mean .01%. Rounding up).

{Giant Mama Turtle}
Fairy Forest

{Loving Father Penguin}
Fairy Forest

{Shiny Star Wars Characters}
Fairy Forrest

{Proselyting Mormon Missionaries}
Fairy Forrest

{A Bowling Alley}
Fairy Forest

{A Gathering of Minions}
Fairy Forrest

{Vast Varieties of Fairy Housing}
Fairy Forrest

And so much more.

There is a lot to see.

Our family painted a bunch of rocks to take to the Fairy Forest. My kids loved it. One of my contributions was this commemorative Pioneer Day rock (since we were vacationing over Pioneer Day - July 24):

Fairy Forrest

Which was added to a collection of holiday-themed rocks my sister-in-law painted.

Fairy Forrest

(I also did the 4th of July rock - impressive, right?)

This rock was mine, too:

Park City

And I thought it was kinda, sorta cute until hours after leaving the Fairy Forest when I realized that there is an icon in Instagram that looks just like that

(Do you see how heavily social networking is infiltrating our lives? I can't even paint a dang rock without proving how brainwashed I've become!)

But at least I could hold it like this and be all, "Look! I'm speaking loving words!"

Park City

But now my affectionate conversation rock is in the forest, and there is a lovely ladybug rock speaking loving words.

(Do you see how the formatting of this post is all wonky? I could stay up late and fix it, or I could go to bed. I choose bed!)

Loving word of the day: Goodnight.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Explorations of Board Game Geekery

The other day, I greeted my friends I hadn't seen in a few weeks with the words, "I've got big news!"

I was not announcing a pregnancy nor my winning the lottery. We were not putting our house up for sale nor was there any hot gossip to share.

My big news was that we'd been playing the Hedge Keeper wrong in our games of Agricola for the past five years.


This made me realize what a special variety of board game geeks we are. Symptoms being:

1. Taking the time to peruse the online board game forums for rule clarification
2. Considering it "big news" that we'd interpreted a card incorrectly - nothing short of life-changing
3. Feeling utterly humiliated that such an error had been made

There is a spectrum of board game geekery. When I visit a board game store and observe the other patrons, I find myself thinking I am not one of them! But I know that I am far greater a board game geek than most people I know, so I fall somewhere on that spectrum - perhaps in the middle? I don't really know. But the entire episode with the Hedge Keeper got me thinking about some of the traits we exhibit in our small circle of board game geeks - the circle of people who are "like us" (but are not one of them).**

You might be like us if...

-The stow and go of your mini van is stuffed with games in case there is ever a need for spontaneous gaming (or "gameage" as we call it).

-Reading the war chapters in the Book of Mormon makes you want to play Risk.

-You know that the probability of rolling a 7 in Settlers of Catan is 21%.

-You own the misprinted edition of Risk wherein you have drawn the connecting line from Middle East to East Africa.

-You audition friends to see if they are eligible for an invitation to game night (most of them aren't).

-You understand that gaming is a lot like dating. Just because you like games and he or she likes games doesn't mean you need to play together.

-You have read the entire Wikipedia page for Risk along with each edition of the rules starting from 1959.*

-Your sense of world geography is based on the countries and cities featured in your board games, and when you hear mention of one of those places, you immediately imagine its position on the board and the color in which it is printed.

-You do not go to the store for groceries. You go for commodities and resources.

-You've purchased mini tackle boxes from Walmart to organize your game pieces.

-You have apps on your phone to help you keep score.

-You think it's a life or death mission to claim the eight-train track in Ticket to Ride: Europe.

-You have a collection of collaborative games which you refer to as "group therapy."

-You have to pencil in a Clue night on your calendar once a year - just so it doesn't feel ignored.

-You've had to ban a particular game from the rotation to save your marriage.

-You have a Game Night play list.

-You know that most of your readers will not be amused by this list, but the one that will is going to read it aloud to her husband, Blake.

*No offense to them.
**There is so much more to say about this. Oh, so much more!

Friday, July 18, 2014

What's Not to Love?

I hate to admit that I suffer from any sort of body image struggles. I'd like to think that I'm above all that and that I don't scrutinize my body or wish it were different. I'd like to say that I'm happy with my body just the way it is and that I have no issues with my weight or my squishy places.

But alas, I'm not quite there.

Any yet, I know better, so today I've been thinking about some of the things I love about my body.

My hair - I really can't complain about my hair. It's good hair. If all else fails, my hair can save the day.

My eyes - they're blue and sometimes bright.

My legs - this is a hard one because I often forget that my legs are loveable. Sometimes I zone in on their flaws and I get fooled into thinking they're not good enough, but this amazing thing happens when I go to the gym; there's a machine I use in the weight room that engages every muscle in my legs. When I look down, they are so muscular and strong that I just stare at them in awe and think These legs are incredible! I love these legs!

My flip-flop tan lines - I know that's a stretch, but I always enjoy having tan lines on my feet. 

My top teeth - they are very straight, and reliable at chewing (always a plus when teeth are involved!)

My hands - there's not much to say about them other than they work well, and I'm happy with them.

My ears - this is a hard one, too, because I've struggled with my ears in the past. They poke out. They're not as noticeable now because my face is a little more filled out, but when I was a teenager, my ears were very obvious, and I was sometimes made fun of - "Gee, Britt! I bet you can hear fire engines before anyone else!" (Thank you, adult male boss. How mature of you!) But now I understand that pokey-outey ears are part of who I am, and I love having a feature that not everyone else has.  

Now, I can look back on this list and still see my struggles in there (my top teeth only qualify for my love because they are straight. Shouldn't I love them, straight or not?), but at the same time, there are areas where I'm beginning to overcome the worldy demands of beauty, such as with my legs and ears. It will be an ongoing battle.

Several weeks ago, this picture was taken:


(The motivational quote was part of my "mental preparation" for the Spartan Race... long story).

When I posed for that photo, I was concerned about being gym-fresh, my hair not being done, and having no make-up on, but when I looked at it later, I realized I shouldn't have worried. That picture is of ME. It's really, truly, ME! And I'm not hiding behind anything (index card aside). 

And I look FINE. Happy, even. 

If that's how I were presented for all the world to see, I would be okay with it. 

So onward and upward I go as I continue learning to love this incredible body that God has given me.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Putting Down My Cheese

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a very intense physiological response to the scene in Disney's Cinderella where Gus Gus is about to be attacked by Lucifer the cat. If you recall, Gus has gathered a stack of cheese to stash away - he has plenty to carry, but he sees one more piece and tries to pick it up even though his arms are full. Meanwhile, Lucifer is ready to pounce, and Gus is too distracted by his cheese to notice what's going on around him.

The scene makes my heart race, and my hands begin to sweat. Even now, as an adult, I still hate watching Gus Gus struggle to carry his cheese. I hope every time that he will just leave that one piece of cheese behind and get out of there! It's the sensible thing to do. One piece is all it takes.

I'm finding myself in a place right now where I can't decide what to do with my own cheese. I keep thinking that my arms can stretch just a little bit further, and I can carry one more piece, but when I try to position the stack under my chin, all the cheese goes flying.

It's one thing to sit back and holler at Gus Gus to put down the dang cheese, but it's another thing to have to put down my own cheese, especially when I really want the cheese. And I think I deserve the cheese.

I get it, Gus Gus. I really do.

(But seriously, dude. Just put the cheese down!)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Eight Years

Almost eight years ago, I had my first baby. Today I was thinking about what my life was like at that time - in 2006, to be precise. Life can change a lot in eight years, not to mention society in general.

When Nicky was born...

...I had dial-up internet.

...I had an "emergency only" cell phone (with no text messaging, mind you).

...People used MySpace, not Facebook (I used neither because of the dial-up internet).

...No one knew what a blog was (I happened to have one and often referred to it as "my web site" because people didn't "get it").

...The only people who read blogs were bloggers, so all comments came from people you didn't know.

...I got comments on my blog.

...People used palm pilots - there were no tablets or e-readers. Even lap tops weren't very common.

...I had just barely switched from a film camera to a digital camera.

...I had a Juno e-mail account (actually, I still do - it's my junk mail address).

...Everyone still had landlines.

...We still used phone books.

...The thrift store was a lot cheaper and hardly anyone shopped there.

...We spent $130 a month on groceries.

Eight years. That's all. It's almost scary to think of where we might be in eight more years with how fast technology is changing.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Spartan Re-Cap

Maybe you're tired of looking at muddy pictures of me (especially if we're friends on facebook), but now that I've had a week to collect all of the pictures from the Spartan Race, I will now bombard you with ALL THINGS MUDDY!

Getting to the starting line at the Spartan was an interesting (and highly frustrating) experience. We had problems with check-in. Spartan has been testing out a new barcode system which involves using computers (only a small portion of the racers had to endure the barcodes, and we happened to fall into that category). Since the Utah race is held ON A MOUNTAIN, this has "bad idea" written all over it. Since we volunteered to get a free race, we went through the volunteer line, which only had about five people in it. Of course, the computers started having problems right then. Of course, they didn't have us in the system so we had to register from scratch. Of course, the information wouldn't go through and we had to re-enter it eight times. The lady working the check-in table did nothing to help this process. She just shrugged and wandered aimlessly while hundreds of people lined up behind us. I could feel their fiery darts of hate nailing us in the backs of our heads. From then on, I fear we became recognizable as The People Who Held Up The Line. I also fear that many of the volunteers behind us didn't make their race time and had to start later.


I can still feel them.

We ended up making it to the starting line with two minutes to spare. I was so stressed out and hardly had time to stretch - not a great way to start out, but luckily I find joy in mud pits, and I got to fly into one within the first few hundred yards.

{The start}

Then it was onto the over/under/through obstacle (climb over a wall, crawl under a wall, climb through a wall. Repeat). I loved this one since I was feeling good, and the walls were short enough for me to fly over (4 and 5 footers).

After that, the race became a hike, and up the mountain we went. As we climbed, the masses moved into single file, and people started stepping off the trail to rest... or die. This is when we caught our first sight of blood (luckily not on ourselves), and we were only about a quarter-mile into the 12-mile race.

Near the top of the trail, we hit the one-mile marker, then we started descending. At approximately a mile and a quarter, as we were coming down a steep trail, I caught my foot on a rock and went crashing to the ground. I could have been the domino that knocked a few hundred people down the mountain. Thank heaven for the slight gap that saved us all! Unfortunately, I twisted my ankle and couldn't walk. Scotty dragged me off to the side, and I became one of those people off the side of the trail that appeared to be unfit for the Spartan Race. I waited it out for about five minutes, then when there was a gap in the line of people, I limped back onto the trail and started coming down slowly. It hurt pretty bad, and I was so worried that I wouldn't be able to finish the race - or, maybe it is better stated that I was worried that I shouldn't finish the race. I had no idea what kind of injury I had sustained, but I couldn't move my toes, and the impact on my foot was quite excruciating. Within a few minutes, I felt okay about continuing. If I walked carefully and didn't push off  my toes, the pain was minimal, but any strange twists or turns or jumps hurt pretty bad. I could also jog slowly and do okay, but I could walk faster than I could jog, so it seemed pretty pointless to exert all of that extra energy. Every now and then I would try running to see how it felt, but it just wasn't feasible since I couldn't push off my toes.

The first obstacle I had to face with my injury was a 6' wall. I became very scared of walls after a short time. Coming down the back side of them and having to land on my feet was terrifying.

After the wall, we crawled under some barbed wire and slid down a muddy slope into a pit. I got some serious speed and went flying past a bunch of people. They all started laughing - I was quite out of control!

{Exiting the mud pit}

 The next obstacle was the tractor pull. This is where you have to pull a block of concrete behind you with a chain. We had to follow a circular path, and there was some volunteer guy barking at us the whole time through a megaphone, whom I kind of wanted to punch in the face. Had the path been straight, I think I would have been fine, but since it curved, I had a really hard time planting my hurt foot. I had to go really slow, and I felt like I was in everyone's way.


{Tractor pull}

Then we did the atlas carry. This is where you have to carry a big round concrete ball from one flag to the other, put it on the ground, do five burpees, pick it back up, carry it back, and put it on the ground. I didn't think I would like this obstacle, but it wasn't bad at all.

{Atlas carry}

After that, it was on to the rope climb. In the Spartan Race, you must attempt each obstacle. If you fail, you have to do 30 burpees for a penalty. I grabbed the rope, hefted myself up, laughed hysterically, and went and did the burpees. The knots in the rope were nearly a body length apart!* It just wasn't going to happen.

{Scotty on the rope climb}

Scotty represented our family in the rope climb. Way to go, Scotty!

After the ropes, we did the lattice climb, which is pretty easy. The problem is, we were so worn out from all of the previous obstacles, that we were both shaking, and that made it a little interesting. You might think it would be cool to see a photo of what I'm talking about, but I don't have one readily available, and with the three children currently hanging from my arms begging for food, I really need to get a move on.

Next we faced the monkey net. This is an obstacle quite like monkey bars but a lot more challenging because you have to cross a net - a net that sags and sways. There was some major bottle necking going on at the monkey net. There were at least a hundred people waiting to go, and people were using their hands and feet to cross. They would get half-way, and then they would just hang there, not moving. So it was like a muddy primate traffic jam. When there was finally space for me to go, I got about 1/4 of the way, and the girl in front of me just stopped and wouldn't move. I hung there for what felt like ages, and she still wasn't moving. Finally I thought, "I'm not going to waste all my strength hanging here waiting for her!" so I tried to find a path around her, but there wasn't room, so I dropped into the pit and went and did burpees. I think I could have made it across using my feet but not with just my hands. After we left that obstacle, the volunteers started telling everyone "No feet allowed!"**

The next obstacle was, surprisingly, one of my favorites. It was the herc hoist where you have to hoist a large bag of who-knows-what (sand? manure? cadavers?) by pulling a rope. I was giddy during this obstacle - I thought it was SO FUN! The thing I found interesting, though, was that the women around me were struggling, so when I started pulling the rope, I expected to struggle, too, and after I pulled the rope a few feet, I realized that I was forcing myself to struggle when I didn't need to simply because I was mimicking the people around me. As soon as I realized what I was doing, I thought, "What the heck is wrong with me? I'm good at this!" So I did my thing.

Spartan Race
{Herc hoist}

(I'm sure there is some deep, metaphorical life lesson I can take away from that experience).

Then, for the first time in my life, I got to throw a spear.

Let's not talk about it.


Spartan Race
{Spear throw}

After the spears, we ran onto a bridge and had to reach over the side and pull a tire up with a rope until it was even with our feet. This obstacle was so easy it was almost offensive. For some obstacles they have women's and men's versions (the women's are slightly lighter). This one was way too light for the women.

Then it was on to the 7' wall. When I went to lift my leg up over the wall, I got a cramp in my calf and I slid right back down the wall, yelling, "CHARLIE HOOORSE!!!"

I had gotten one at the monkey net as well, and now that I'd had two, I became paranoid to ever lift my legs again!

When I got to the other side of the wall, a staff member asked me if I was cramping, and I told him yes. He told me to meet him down the trail after the next obstacle and he'd have some salt water for me. 

The next obstacle was the bucket carry. You have to fill a bucket with gravel and carry it up a hill and back down. I was not a fan, but I survived.

{I hate this picture, but I will post it anyway}

The staff member kept his promise and met me at the bottom of the hill with a bottle of salt water. 

After that huge series of obstacles, we had to climb another mountain.This one was really steep. During the mile leading up to it, we could see it from below, so we knew what was coming, and we weren't exactly thrilled. 

I must have blocked my memory of that climb as a coping mechanism because I have no recollection of any events on that slope. I just know that I did it.

In fact, I'm not even sure I'm placing that mountain in the correct place in the race. Just know that we went up the mountain about four times in all.

Somewhere in there, we did a sandbag carry up and down a hill. The women's sandbags, like the tires, were surprisingly light. The weight wasn't a challenge. The burden was that it was hot, and I didn't want the bag touching me.

I think we climbed another mountain after that. Who knows?

Then we did the log hop. This is where there is a line of vertical logs stuck in the ground, all at different heights, and you have to balance and hop from one log to the other. This was another one that was difficult with my foot injury.

Then we probably climbed another mountain - there was a big gap in obstacles around this point, and we were up on the mountain for a really long time. I think a guy nearby must have had the runners trots because he kept leaving the trail and going into the leafy places. Then he'd come back for a while and disappear again. It kept us entertained.****

The next obstacle was another one of my favorites - the tire drag. There is a tractor tire attached to a rope, and the rope is attached to a peg in the ground. You have to drag the tire away from the peg until the rope is taught. Then you have to run back to the peg and sit down and use the rope to pull the tire to you. I really liked it.

Then there were a couple of mud pits.

{Mud makes me smile} 

At this point we were about seven miles into the twelve-mile race, and I hit a wall (figuratively). 

We had to do the traverse wall and the inverted wall while I was feeling super drained (again, sorry for the lack of pictures. SCREAMING CHILDREN!!!)

Then there was the tire flip, where you have to flip a tractor tire two time out and two times back. I liked this one a lot, so it renewed my energy a bit. I expected the tires to be a lot heavier. Because I'm curious, I wish I would have tried the men's. If I ever do the race again, I'll complete the women's first so I don't have to do burpees, and then I'll try the men's if there's one available.

Next we had to crawl through a mud pit with ropes strung above it to ensure that we stayed on our bellies in the water. There was a guy spraying me in the face with a fire hose. I loathe cold water, and I especially loathe being sprayed in the face. Scotty yelled to the guy, "Get her! She hates it!" So the guy sprayed me the entire time I was crawling through the pit (and it was a lengthy pit). I kept yelling, "I hate you all!" and the guy with the hose would yell back, "Who do you hate?" and I'd yell back, "Every one of you!!!" Even when I got out of the pit, he continued to spray me until I was out of reach. All of the people behind me got it easy because the hose guy was so focused on spraying me the whole time. 

Somewhere in there, we climbed over an 8' wall. Oh, how I hated the walls!

Near the end of the race, we faced another rope climb. I did burpees.

Then came the best part: the barbed wire crawl.

{See how clean I was? You can thank Hose Guy for that}

I LOVED every second of the barbed wire crawl. I had so much fun crawling and rolling on the ground. There were even a couple of places where it was so slick, I could slide on my belly like a penguin.

June 2014
{Penguin style}

I completely ditched Scotty and finished about five minutes before him (he hates the barbed wire crawl, and he took his time getting started because he was dreading it so much).

{I wish I'd been smiling here}

{Poor Scotty}

The barbed wire crawl could be my hobby - I enjoyed it so much!

I read on someone's blog that the barbed wire crawl was a quarter-mile. I don't think it was quite that long, but it was long enough for people to think it was a quarter-mile - just to give you an idea of the distance.

{Barbed wire crawl}

At the end of the barbed wire crawl, we had to climb over the slip wall. At the beginning of the day, there isn't an ounce of mud on that thing, but as time goes on, it gets caked on.

{Back side of the slip wall}

{Coming over the top}

Everyone has to help each other get up and over. Scotty helped me from the bottom while two guys pulled me over the top. When I got to the other side, I grabbed a girl by the arm and thigh and pulled her up and over.

{This photo looks posed. Haha!}

I felt pretty macho (except for the part where three men had to get me over the wall).

The very last hoorah of the Spartan Race is to jump over a fire.


Then someone is there to hang your medal around your muddy neck, and good heavens! It's over. YOU FINISHED!




After the race, we watched our kids participate in the kids' Spartan Race. Nicky did really well. Daisy did well, too, but she was really "iffy" with the mud. She didn't want to get dirty, but I was so proud of her for doing it. Their race was a 1/2 mile. They had to do mini versions of what we did. It was really cool. 

During the kids' race, my foot started to swell. After holding still for a while, I could hardly walk, and when I got to the car, I had a hard time getting my shoe off. It felt pretty awful for about three days, but it's doing a lot better now. I think I strained the extensor muscle in my foot. It was discolored and swollen for a few days, but I don't think it was "bruised" because the color went away pretty fast. It's going to take a while to heal. I ran for about five minutes this morning at the gym, and it's not quite ready for that yet. I'm just glad it wasn't more serious, and as far as I can tell, I didn't make it worse by finishing the race.

It took me a few days to deal with some emotional issues regarding the race (I hate that that happens, but I know that some of you know exactly what I'm talking about), but now in hindsight, I'm so glad I did it! I was disappointed that I got hurt, and I'd love to try again without an injury. I think I'm always going to have that underlying fear of getting hurt, though. 

*Last year they were only a couple of feet apart, so I had trained to climb a rope with much closer knots. Now I realize that you just need to train to climb a rope with no knots so it never matters!

**When we arrived at the obstacle, the volunteers were announcing, "You can do whatever you want to get across, except for climbing on top!"

***I didn't see a single person stick the spear throw while I was near the obstacle. It is a very commonly failed obstacle.

****So glad it wasn't us!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dirty Dash

Yesterday's post made me realize that I never mentioned anything in the blogging world about the Dirty Dash. The World At Large probably doesn't care, but for my own memories, here is my Dirt Dash re-cap:

Last Fall, Scotty's work entered their employees in the Dirty Dash. I wanted to do the run with Scotty really bad, but I had another commitment, so he went by himself. As the spring event approached, I kept toying around with the idea of entering, but since we had so many other things going on in June, and the event isn't exactly cheap, I talked myself out of it over and over. Then when it came time to buy Scotty an anniversary gift in May, I had a justified reason to sign up for the Dirty Dash.

I made all of Scotty's dreams come true... I got him something dirty for our anniversary!

Part of the reason I wanted to do the Dirty Dash was so I could have a little mud experience before the Spartan Race. I wanted to test-run my clothes and get acquainted with the sensation of running in caked shoes. Our local Dirty Dash and Spartan Beast happen to be held at the same venue, so it worked out perfectly. I got to experience the exact mud I would face in the Spartan Race (which, if your curious, is sticky, gooey, clay-ish stuff).

The Dirty Dash is six miles (with the option of doing only three) (but why would you do only three?) It's not timed, and, at first, I didn't like that it wasn't timed, but when I got out there and started having fun, I realized that I didn't want it to end. This is an event to take slowly. Savor the fun. Laugh and socialize. Take time to enjoy it.

The Dirty Dash is no place for pace!

The obstacles were a riot! There were several mud pits, inflatable slides, walls to climb, hay bales to jump, and lots of fire hoses making everything wet and slick.

The best part was when we hit the half-way point, and they were handing out cookies and powdered jelly donuts.

That's my kind of event!

One of my worries when I signed up was that I would discover that I hated mud. When I jumped into the first mud pit, and my shoes came out weighing ten extra pounds, I had a brief moment where I thought, "This is not good!" But I got over it quickly! I was so happy to discover that I have no qualms with mud. Throw me in it. Roll me around in it. Weigh me down with it. I don't care!

Dirty Dash

The Dirty Dash was the perfect date for us. Next time, we're dragging the kids along for the fun!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer So Far

Well, just like that, it's July.

And I'm okay with that.

July holds some pretty fun adventures for us, so bring it on! It's going to get hotter, though. Yikes!

Here are some of the fun things we did in June:

-Finished 1st grade (Nicky)

-Finished Bachelor's degree in Business Management (Scotty)

-Went on a few hikes

-Ran 4 races (Healthy STEM 5K, Dirty Dash, West Fest 10K, and Spartan Beast)

Dirty dash
{My post-Dirty Dash meal from jDawgs}

June 2014
{Our West Fest ribbons - I was 2nd place out of three. Scotty was 2nd place out of two. We acted like big winners anyway}

June 2014
{Our last moments of cleanliness at the Spartan}

-Hung out at Grandma's pool

-Went boating

-Went to the Chalk Art Festival

June 2014 
{Our kids wearing their favorite animal heads at the Festival}

-Hosted a weenie roast

-Had tubes put in Zoe's ears

-Had more picnics at the park than I can count

-Went to Wheeler Farm


Popsicles have become a daily ritual. The back yard hose runs frequently. The garden is growing. We've used up six bottles of sunscreen. 

We are having an awesome summer!