For those of you that know Jake and I and where we come from, you know that we are small town, country loving people. Jake grew up in the country his entire life. He and his family had a small hobby farm which I’ve heard a lot of the “critter stories.” From him showing chickens to stories of his mom rescuing anything on the side of the road and the disastrous rides home with Jake and some wild animal in the back seat with him! Love you Cindy! I grew up in town, but on the edge of town. I had a corn field in my back yard. My grandparents are (recently retired) farmers. My grandfather use to have cattle on his farm, but my memories are just of corn and soybean farming. I have so many fond memories of being at my grandparents. I still to this day think it’s one of my top 5 favorite places on earth. So, this is just a little background for this blog.
This past weekend, we went to central IL. for the first annual Liv to Ride poker run. It was hosted by the 4-Way-Saloon in Sidell, IL. My brother and sister in law, along with a lot of other hard working individuals put together this event with all the proceeds going to the Liv Life Foundation. It was such a fun day. We met a lot of fun and interesting people. New Twang City brought their band and played that evening. So, Jake and I and the girls stayed at George and Cindy’s house while we were home. They live on at least 5 acres but don’t know the exact amount. Sunday morning was so beautiful that I took the girls outside for some fresh air and to do a bit of exploring. The property has some restored prairie with a path to a pond. Typically we take rides on the path, but I wanted to just walk with the girls and our dogs. I had a moment while being outside with the girls. Finley was walking behind me pointing out everything she saw. She asked me if we’d see butterflies and what color the flowers were. Livia was ahead of me running with our dog, Lola. She was laughing and giggling so much. Let me back track for just a moment. Jake and I have noticed over the summer a few changes in Livia. She has been chewing a lot more and her speech isn’t around as much. She’s still talking, but we can’t get her to say some of the things she use to. She doesn’t point to pictures, as much, and tell us what she see’s. So, back to the story. As Livia is giggling her way down to the pond, she would periodically stop and look back at me. She’d look and say “come on, mama….come!” To hear her laugh, watch her have freedom, and hear those words was an amazing moment. I say watch her have freedom because I feel like whenever we are out or even at someone else’s home, I’m constantly corralling her or directing her where to go. It was so nice to watch her just run and do what she wanted. I was also amazed at what Finley could recognize and what she was telling me on our stroll. It was such a nice morning that I got to spend with my girls. It was one of those moments that made me reflect on where I came from. Growing up in a small town, I always wanted to move away. There had to be something bigger and better out there. I think this is probably a very frequent thought among small town kids. I so badly want to have that country life for my family. Mostly, I want Livia to have some freedom and be around what she loves the most (animals). Jake and I hope to provide that for them. I want to experience many stroll’s like that and make great memories with them.