outing worth posting about

Have I told you that we live in a very small town? Oh, I've told you 100 times. Sorry. Kinda. I'm going to say it again: we live in a really small town. So small that I rarely pull out my nice camera because I have no idea what to photograph. Most of our weekends are spent visiting our house and going to the park to let the kids ride scooters, and I capture anything remotely interesting with my phone.

However, today--by sheer luck--I found something for our little family to do. I was looking at websites of what to do in our town, and I was feeling rather frustrated that all 22 things listed weren't actually located in our town, but near our town, and near being about 30-40 miles away. Ugh. I had almost given up when I decided to look at one more site and found a hot air balloon festival in another small town about 25 minutes away. I mentioned it to Tim, and we decided to pack up the kids and see what it was all about. 

Turns out...we didn't see a single hot air balloon, but there were a lot of people flying kites and a helicopter circling the skies advertising reasonably priced helicopter rides. I'm not convinced I agree with their "reasonably priced" ride. ;) But little families were eating up the experience, and our girls didn't realize it was an option so we just enjoyed watching the cop-cop go up and down while we ate our funnel cake and frozen yogurt. The girls also loved the small carnival set up in the parking lot. The kids kept getting off the rides exclaiming, "That was the most fun ride I've ever been on in my life" to every. single. ride. Sometimes it's just worth spending the few extra dollars to get those ear-to-ear smiles you don't see everyday. 

It was a really nice afternoon. I felt relaxed and calm as I watched the kids run from ride to ride and across the large field between the carnival and food stands. I watched them relish the freedom they don't normally experience at our apartment. I always feel like I'm harping down their backs, "Don't run. Don't yell. Don't jump. Don't laugh too loud. Don't...don't...don't." I am essentially telling them "Don't be kids" or our neighbors will tattle on us. Please get me out of this apartment. Please. But watching them this afternoon gave me a sense of peace I haven't felt in awhile. I love watching my kids be kids. I don't want to rush or stifle their childhood in anyway. I guess that's why these past few months have been really hard on me (oh who am I kidding...they've been hard on all of us). 

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pictures. I do.

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"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley