the sunflower festival

We had a day in September that felt really special to me. I had been talking to Michael about how much I really wanted to see a field of sunflowers, but there weren’t any in our area that I knew of. He randomly found a sunflower farm (Beaver Dam Farm) that was having a festival about an hour away, and when he said, “Let’s go”, I might have been even more excited than the kids.We headed up there in the afternoon, after Michael attended our church’s stake service project and the girls and I had done all our chores around the house. The weather was warm but just slightly overcast, making for some of the best pictures.I was a little surprised to see all the thousands of sunflowers facing the same direction. After a Google search, I learned that sunflowers display “heliotropism”, a behavior where they follow the sun across the sky, until maturity, when they generally face east.Nella was really not into pictures this day. See her little hat squished into Daddy’s leg?We had a lot of fun taking a bunch of pictures. It was so beautiful out there being surrounded by the sunflowers and seeing the mountains in the distance.This is one of Kaelyn’s most natural smiles that I have photographed. I love it.Daddy was the baby-wrangler this day. He carried Evie the entire time, and although Nella didn’t want to take pictures, I still love this one because it shows how much Michael loves his girls.Sunshine feeds my soul. I’m so grateful for these outdoor days with my family.There were calves and a miniature horse to pet, which everyone loved, especially Nella. We got some kettle corn and boarded the hay ride!The flowers look like they stretched on for miles here.Kaya used her camera to take pictures the entire time, too.Nella warmed up to photos a little once we gave her kettle corn. All the girls were obsessed with it!We ended the day with snow cones- lemon lime for me, cotton candy for the girls, and a Dr. Pepper float for Michael. I guess we just need to give Nella treats to get her to smile for me!We bid the sunflowers goodbye and headed home. It’s one of those days I’ll always love remembering.

five favorites (08/10)

Happy Saturday! I didn’t quite get this done yesterday, so here I am. We spent a big part of today cleaning, so it’s nice to pop on here for a bit of fun and share what we’ve been up to this week!

ONE. We got to go to our town’s summer festival last weekend. There were craft vendors of all sorts, with a plethora of homemade items for sale. I think this was the first year we didn’t buy a single thing, but the girls had the best time. They got free lollipops from the local sweets shop. Everyone chose “rainbow” flavor, of course.

The fire station gave out these free firefighter hats, and the girls got to go up in the fire engine to look around, too. It was so exciting for them!The girls have been wearing their hats just about every day since. They pretend to come to my house and check that my smoke detectors are working. I love watching their creativity.They also got to go on a bounce house/slide! This was the best part for them.

TWO. Michael has been working hard out in the yard this week, removing the old bushes, most of which were dead or at least half-dying. This is a massive work-in-progress, but I’m realizing that having a house basically means you’re always working on something. At least, that’s how it is for us.Kaelyn was a good little helper.Nella keeps finding these old tennis balls in the yard. We (and Scout) found quite a few the first year we lived here, so I figured we had uncovered them all. Nope! They are still showing up. Someone must have played a lot of fetch before we bought the house.

I guess we’ll have to figure out what we’re putting here instead!

THREE. Speaking of our yard, we’ve had a lot of wild visitors lately… This buck has been here a few times to eat apples off the tree. He has a deformed antler, so he’s been easy to identify. He was also at the playground one day when I was running! I used my telephoto lens to get these, which is something I don’t get to do very often, so it was a fun change.On another day, we had a mother and her two fawns come by! I had seen the mother before and could tell she was lactating… so I was so excited when she brought her babies with her on her next visit. I only had time to grab my phone to take these before they sprinted away (ahem, Scout, thank you for barking and scaring them)! FOUR. Apparently, I’ve just been having a lot of fun with nature photos this week. Our purple flowers are already starting to wilt and fall to the ground, which means fall is fast-approaching.The girls and I loved reviewing what we’ve learned about pollination by watching the bees drink nectar from each flower.FIVE. One of my very favorite things about having a bunch of little girls is putting them in matching clothes, and it’s even better when I get to match them, too! I was in love with these pink sparkly shoes ever since I bought them for the girls for Easter, and when my size went on clearance last week… I just had to get them. These little moments make life sweet. (Also, Nella’s bare baby legs are just way too cute!)

Happy weekend!