I grew up in Washington state. I attended school in Utah and now I live in Colorado. Aside from the occasional trip to Orlando for my Disney fix I haven't spent much time outside my wonderful little westerner existence.
This last weekend my whole family made the trek out to St. Louis to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday together. From there we all loaded up the cars and drove out to Branson, MO.
Have you ever been there?
Sure, it's hot and humid, but I've never seen such beautiful green rolling hills. The Ozarks took my breath away. The people are all about God and family and America...which I thought would seem cheesey but ended up feeling heartwarming and, well, true.
Family IS important.
And America IS pretty rad.
And you know what else they have in Missouri?
I'd never seen these things in real life before. One night we spent a good hour running around my sister's back yard with my family...all of us helping the three year old catch them with her butterfly net so we could trap them in a glass mason jar. We helped her catch those wisps of fire; those bugs who fleetingly illuminate the world with their personal glow.
And it made me think of the importance of moments spent all together. These days our moments together seem so quick, impermanent and beautiful. I find my camera glued to my face when we're together. It acts as my big butterfly net, bundling my family memories together so I can keeping them in my memory-card jar.
These moments light up my life with their incandescence.