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Taylor and I last-second decided to camp out in the backyard Sunday night and to wake up beneath a canopy of trees and to the sound of chirping birds on Memorial Day. We pumped up an old inflatable couch and plopped it down inside the tent (unknowing that it had a bad leak-- we discovered that in the middle of the night hahaha). We played games next to the campfire with family until the flames died down and the bugs came out, then we clamored into the tent, wrapped up in the covers, and fell asleep almost instantly. 

Kingsley slept in the tent with us and would make tiny little growling/barking noises every time he heard something outside the tent (which happened often). We were laughing so hard at one point because he was half asleep but still being a grump and growling at practically nothing. He wore a permanent scowl all night long (lol). 

Around 3am half of the inflatable couch bed had almost entirely deflated and our bums and hips were laying right on the cold, hard ground. I was stubborn and fought against the bad luck by trying to keep sleeping through the better part of the night, but Taylor couldn't handle it. He got up with the camera and wandered around the yard taking cool low-light photos to keep his mind off the fact that he was utterly exhausted. 

I finally texted him around 5am and he came back to cuddle with me for a couple of minutes before we took down the tent and started the rest of the day. We laughed at the fact that we actually slept in a tent in the backyard together. Granted, we didn't sleep well... but hey, at least we did it.

We ended up going to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie! Before seeing it, we were a bit contemplative over whether or not we would actually like the movie. We'd heard a lot of good reviews and bad reviews-- but from several past experiences (especially when it comes to movies) we've learned to not base our expectations off of other people's opinions. So we went in with zero expectations, and we loved it! 

We spent the evening at my parent's house eating good food and playing games with the family. The kids had the sprinkler on for the entire duration of the event. My niece was parading around the yard with an umbrella so that she could run through the sprinkler without getting soaked (insert crying laughing emoji here). 
When I was on my mission my family got really into playing bocce ball-- they haven't played much since I came home, but last night we played for a total of FOUR HOURS. Basically there's a little ball that you have to throw and then everyone throws their own individual balls towards the main ball and whoever gets their ball closest to the main ball wins. We played on teams (blue against red) and it was a total blast. It was so funny to watch how into the game everyone was getting (my family is extremely competitive, in case anyone was wondering).

Every so often my little niece asks me to teach her how to take photos on my "fancy camera." Last night I was showing her the basics and she insisted on running around and snapping photos of everyone and everything. The photos she took ended up being my favorite photos of the entire evening. Some of them were blurry and out of focus-- others were just fun and goofy. She was so excited to show me all of the photos she had snapped and her happiness made me equally as happy!

For the first time this year it actually felt like Summer-- it was glorious! When I think "summer," I think of spending time with family, barbecuing, and spending oodles of time outside in the sunshine. Memorial Day was a perfect glimpse of all the good things we've got coming this summer and I couldn't be more excited. Autumn has always been my favorite season, but Summer is a very, very close second. 

I hope everyone had a good memorial day! I'm thankful for all of the men and women who have fought and who continue to fight in order to keep this country free. I'm grateful for all the sacrifices that have been put forth by those people and by their families on behalf of everyone who lives here. My heart is so full of so much gratitude!


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