A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words…But I’d Like To Add A Few Extra Ones Just To Be Sure :)

It’s been a while. A long while. So instead of me explaining every little detail I’ll just tell the story of July mostly in picture format. Hope you enjoy!

Spent two weeks taking care of my brother’s babies as they were in desperate need of daycare. I learned that three kids 3 yrs. and younger is no easy task!
Happy Alice who turned 7 months old when I was there .
We went through quite the heat wave in Nebraska!
South Dakotan sunset on the long drive back home.
Got home and decided I needed a new hair cut and color!
How is Paige one year old already!? Beautiful weather beautiful day.
Guess who’s home already!? That month went by quick for me. It gave me a chance to spend a lot of quality time with quality people. 🙂
M had work to do in Crookston and I tagged along because our AC is broken at home. This picture is why I can’t wait to live in the country again one day.
Sunset in Smoky Hills State Forest. We decided to take a mini vacay this weekend.
I never get tired of sunsets.
In the state forests you can disperse camp which means you can find any place in the forest and set up camp there are no actual campsites. Since we were only staying one night we just decided to sleep in the back of the van. After driving around for about an hour we finally found this spot next to a huge sand hill. It was open but totally secluded. We were the only car we saw in the entire forest. Only problem was mosquitoes were horrendous!! You couldn’t step outside without instantly having hundreds cover you from head to toe.
So we may have underestimated how uncomfortable the van was going to be. I was finally fed up with tossing and turning and the back aches at 3:56 a.m. and just decided to call it a night. It gave me time to plan out the rest of our day today. I was able to doze off for about half an hour around 5 o’clock. But the great thing about it was getting to watch the complete sunrise.
We headed to our next location at 6:30 and after a stop for coffee and a pb&j sandwich from the cooler we found this random rainbow on our drive through lakes country (as Minnesotans call it).
Made it to Glendalough State Park just as it opened up to the public for the day. This place is beautiful!
Jackson is definitely enjoying lake life!
Because apparently doing over 100 dives in the past month just wasn’t enough for this guy!
And lastly a picture I thought I’d never post in a million years. Truth: one of the top three things I’m scared of in life behind tornadoes and snakes is making people (including myself) aware of my size (as if it was a secret I am hiding from them). I have never worn a bikini. Not once not ever at any point in my life not even as a little five year old playing in the backyard sprinkler. Recently I have been inspired by so many plus size women willing to wear a bikini. Impressed but definitely never daring enough to try it myself. I loved what it had stood for that there is no such thing as a “beach body” that every body no matter its size shape or color should feel comfortable enjoy the outdoors and water activities. Today was just an opportunity that presented itself and I decided to push myself way outside of my comfort zone (like space travel far) and do it. So the bottoms are a part of one of my two piece full coverage swimsuits and the top I randomly bought on a Target super clearance rack for $3.98 last year figuring that even if I never wore it the price was too good to not at least buy. Flash forward to today when I find that the regular top I had packed I had accidentally dropped in mud. And as fate would have it when we packed in such a last minute flurry last night what I thought was a bra was actually this bikini top. I told M there was no way I was wearing it but he encouraged me to just try it on. (Have I mentioned that he’s a keeper?) So I did and immediately pulled my swim cover down to try and hide even though at that point we were the only people on the beach. I asked M to take my picture so I could see how horrible I looked. And to my surprise I wasn’t quite as mortified as I thought I would be. Now for full disclosure you should know that I did use a brightener filter but I decided not to use the air brush or thinnify or sun tan Photoshop tools because then its not really me that you’d see anymore (but I really wanted to!). You should also know that I never actually swam or took the cover up off. There was about 20 kids and adults that came and went throughout the morning but I wasn’t brave enough to do it just yet. I wasn’t sure I could handle people staring at me (whether it was real or imagined) just yet. Maybe after I get used to having a bare tummy out with just myself and my husband then I could try again. After all that part of my body is never not covered unless I’m showering or changing. That’s 28 years it’s been in the dark so for today I am happy with this baby step and pushing my comfort zones.

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