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“The summer sun shone round me, / The folded valley lay / In a stream of sun and odor, / That sultry summer day. / The tall trees stood in the sunlight / As still as still could be, / But the deep grass sighed and rustled / And bowed and beckoned me. / The deep grass moved and whispered / And bowed and brushed my face. / It whispered in the sunshine: / ‘The winter comes apace.'”

Robert Louis Stevenson

~~~

We decided to splurge on a new, shiny grill last weekend. Since then, meals have consisted of spicy barbecued pork, peppered seared beef, and herb and olive oil rubbed portabella mushrooms. A few nostalgic meals of Applewood all-beef and turkey hotdogs have even slipped into the menu. We’ve grilled peaches and apricots, drizzling their warm flesh with balsamic reduction and honey goat cheese. “Leftover” meals have the taste of summer with tossed salads and sliced, chilled meats. Farmer’s markets and the Whole Foods produce section (once again, both splurges for sure!) have inspired cooking for the sheer joy of stirring, tasting, and watching my family enjoy new dishes. Perhaps one of my favorite concoctions was a plum, blueberry and rum sauce I made to top rich vanilla bean ice cream. I couldn’t eat much…it was that heavenly type of sweet that must be sampled in very small doses. Abby (once she was allowed to hold her own spoon) definitely didn’t mind helping David finish his bowl though! IMG_2160

Summer is a beautiful oasis for me of family time, park time, early morning stroller jogs, late afternoon iced coffee breaks, and dinners with friends. Colorado summer, specifically, weaves together the beauty of a place that I yearn to call “HOME.” To put down roots. To know my neighbors. To have more babies here. To write books from the sunlit office that I picture in my dream home. IMG_2249

I’m finding the courage to pray for this dream. In a season of transition, to pray that God opens the doors for David to work in Denver next year when he graduates. In a season of financial unknowns, to believe that there will be bounty. Bounty for my family. Bounty to share. Bounty with which to bless others. Bounty with which to live and work in this place that has wound its tendrils of community and culture throughout my heart and soul.

I love everything about Colorado…

Love the seasons. The mountains. The hiking opportunities not 30 minutes away from most neighborhoods. The environment in which I would raise my children. The friends that have now stuck with David and I threw many hard years. Friends that celebrated when we finally got pregnant with Abby. Friends that grieved with us in the years prior when heartache seemed to be the rule. Family that has begun to put down roots in this area too. Family that would be part of Abby’s life as she has her first dance recital, her first day of school, her first date.

I dream of home…

I have an open Zillow internet tab most days, perusing current Denver metro area listings. Not because we are anywhere near being able to buy, but because I’m feeding HOPE that is taking root in my heart. The hope that we will remain in this place in which I finally “fit.” As a product of Texas, I will always love the lone star country that still promotes belt buckles, baked beans, and boiling eggs on the sweltering black asphalt. Until I can convince my parents and sisters to move, Texas will also represent irreplaceable family ties that make me homesick just thinking about the 16 hours separating me from my mama’s kitchen. Still, I don’t wear enough makeup for Texas women. I don’t tan enough or workout at a gym enough to fit the image of the city woman. I don’t work in the yard or garden or sweat enough to fit the ideal country girl either. I never have.

In Colorado, I’m happy…

Poor as a church mouse in this expensive destination, but gleefully content. This weekend, I’m simply reveling in the local farmer’s market finds and the potential for so much more in the coming months. This past week, I’ve hiked with Abby, jogged in the heat, made watermelon mint juice from the leftovers of two large 4th of July melons that still filled my fridge. This week, I’ve dreamed of finding…making…fostering home. For my family. My community. And my future self. Praying that you are doing the same. Perhaps in your dream home. Perhaps not. But, in a space that you are allowing your heart to dream. To pray. To believe in miracles.

Leave me a comment and let me know what makes “home” the perfect retreat for you and where you find your happy place. I would love to share stories with you! In the meantime, I’m trying to take a cue from my daughter’s shirt and “Dreaming big.” May you have the courage to do the same 🙂  IMG_2197IMG_2198IMG_2192IMG_2199

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