Johnny Turns 7

Johnny Turns 7

Johnny is a bright light in this world! He has a contagious, happy energy that surrounds him wherever he goes. He’s enthusiastic about everything he does, especially if it involves the great outdoors and/or the dogs. Whenever possible, Johnny wants to be outside experiencing the real world. It is such a joy to be around him and see the pond, creek, or even the grass through his eyes. One of Johnny’s latest sayings is “I’m having a really great day so far”. It has matured from “this is the best day ever” but still the most genuine sentiment of truly loving life. He usually follows it with “how is your day going, mom”. I proceed to melt and concur that I’m having “a really great day” too. And when he gets upset or has a stubborn streak, it’s usually over quick and with him owning every aspect of it. I feel like the luckiest dang mom that there ever was with Johnny.

Johnny is in 1st grade and has started the Spanish dual immersion program at Parley’s Park Elementary. He loves to learn and loves his friends even more. Johnny’s teachers have an affection for him that we all share. Johnny also enjoys all sports possible, especially soccer and baseball. He is an avid outdoorsman and is quite skilled with a knife, hammer, fishing pole, bugs and all things with dad. He loves animals and seems to have a special connection every critter he finds. Johnny is also a proud little brother to Charlotte and does his best to push her buttons as well as give her hugs at recess. He continues to make us all laugh with jokes, voices and silly faces. We’re grateful for the joy Johnny brings to our family. Happy 7th birthday, bud!

Here are a few pictures of Johnny on his actual birthday, September 9th. His birthday party was a few days later with more details below.

For Johnny’s 7th birthday, we created a survival skills birthday party for a bunch of energetic 6-year-old boys. It was a total hit! John was troop leader as he led Johnny and his friends around the ranch on a scavenger hunt to learn a few basic survival skills. They learned how to use a compass and a signal mirror. They also went to rescue an injured hiker and learned how to apply pressure to a wound and make an arm sling. The injured hiker was Charlotte with a very (fake) bloody arm. The last test was knowing a parent’s phone number in case of an emergency. Surprisingly, most of the boys didn’t know the phone number. We told them that was their homework 😉 We ate trail mix, hot dogs and fish cooked in tinfoil (Johnny ate the fish eyeball). The party ended with singing happy birthday and eating cake!

Hay Day 2021

Hay Day 2021

Our self-created family holiday happens once a year (July) at Mellor Ranch when John cuts and bales the hay field. It never ceases to bring pure, good old-fashioned fun for all of us. John gets to use all of his tractor equipment, Charlotte and Johnny get to run around wildly in the field, Prissy and Ginger get to catch voles and I get to bring out the big camera. Below are the memories captured and documented.

Costa Rica (Summer 2021)

Costa Rica (Summer 2021)

If one is seeking adventure, Costa Rica is the place. We went from ziplines in the mountains to black sand beaches with howling monkeys in-between. It was truly adventure packed! There were plenty of critters to keep us on our toes (literally) and lots of winding dirt roads to help us slow down and soak in the rugged scenery. We also enjoyed practicing our Spanish and eating amazing local food. Our house was a major highlight as it sat up on the hillside above Coco Beach. The sunsets were incredible and so were the daily rainstorms as we swam in the pool. Overall, Costa Rica was a remarkable discovery with our two very curious children, especially as our wanderlust souls continue to crave uncharted territory through these Covid years (I can’t believe we’re saying “years” but it continues to rage on).

Things to remember: Ziplines, the bus ride to the water slide, the water slide in the rain storm, hot springs, rivers, mud, scorpions, lizards, frogs and crabs at night, june bugs, howling monkeys, more rain storms, sugar cane, crocodiles, humidity, breakfast on our patio, black sand, dirt roads with lots of bumps, mosquitos and even bigger flying bugs who remain nameless, more ziplines that might possibly be unsafe, boat time, beaches left undiscovered, feeding monkeys, feeding crocodiles, dogs, bone marrow, cats, fish spa, eating lunch in the deep backcountry, chillaxing in our infinity pool as we overlooked the bay, Johnny getting a fever the day we left, COVID tests on our patio, the lightning storm on our last night.

Below are pictures from one of our ziplining experiences where it actually felt safe and regulated … hence a professional photographer.

And now for the abundance of iPhone pictures that happen so easily without settings and without a giant camera to lug around.

Happy Holidays 2021

We’re so happy to share our holiday card 2021! Our family and two of our dear friends brought this to life. We have to give Brett Bluth a standing ovation for creating and executing the theme. Brett hand painted every brush stroke on the wallpaper that covered our fireplace and floor as well as every brush stroke you see on our white clothing. This really happened in real life (hard to believe these days). We also have to give credit to Phillip Istomin for loving to create and for being the mastermind behind the lens as well as the back of the card. To put the cherry on top of the project, Brett wanted to paint one more brush stroke on each envelope we sent out to our friends and family. Wow, we had fun! Thank you, Brett and Phillip, for making this happen. Not sure how we will ever top it. First photo is the one we sent out, the rest are just as good!

Behind the scene photo.

Punta Mita Spring Break 2021

Punta Mita Spring Break 2021

We found ourselves back at our happy place for Spring Break. We’ve been coming to this same spot for years and always find our true Mexico serenity, especially when Park City’s spring becomes too long to bear. We happened to arrive on Charlotte’s 9th birthday, so obviously there was “Cake By The Ocean” and a proper piñata to crack. However, after much anticipation, the piñata was not filled with candy. Not sure where the miscommunication happened, but the kids really didn’t care. We were in Mexico and after that… little matters. So, happy 9th birthday to Charlotte and also happy spring break 2021. Below are the pictures to document our happy place – Punta Mita.

Below are pictures from our super awesome surf session.

The Bahamas / Exumas February 2021

The Bahamas / Exumas February 2021

Bermuda, Bahama, Come on pretty mama…

Words will definitely fall short to describe the incredible experience we were able to enjoy in the Exumas (Bahamas) on our first chartered catamaran.  For Park City’s “ski week” we escaped the snow (and anything to do with Covid) and disappeared into the turquoise Caribbean water where we truly wanted to stay forever.  It was just our family of four along with a husband/wife crew as we island hopped chasing sandbars into the sunset.  I tried to document the awesomeness of it all below with pictures, but they really don’t do it justice.  Thank you Mother Earth, The Bahamas, and of most of all, Stu and Hannah for our best vacation ever.  Like seriously.  (Keep singing Beach Boys…)

Things to remember:  Basically EVERYTHING, three meals a day with Chef Hannah, Captain Stu navigating, sand bars, sharks, turtles, Sea Boss, more sand bars, stingray shuffle, holding onto the tube with Captain Stu, swimming with nurse sharks, pig island, iguana island, conch shells, creating a new family color that only exists in the Bahamas called Bahama, the gentle rocking of the boat at night, sunsets, fancy drinks, snorkeling, the ocean currents that felt like rivers, exploring Boo Boo Hill, Thunderball grotto, sun burns, rashes, the Covid test on the beach, Charlotte hanging out with Chef Hannah, sand dollars, Charlotte and Johnny’s wrestling matches on the tube, way too much time at Atlanta airport, living every minute to the fullest.  We truly can’t wait to go back to Sea Boss with Hannah and Stu. 

Cabo – Thanksgiving 2020

Cabo – Thanksgiving 2020

We snuck away to Cabo last November to celebrate Thanksgiving pandemic style. We needed some sun, sand and I suppose a little isolation for yet another big holiday. It was our first time at the beautiful Montage resort in Cabo. The water was actually swimmable and warm, the grounds and pools were expansive, the food was amazing, and the staff was incredibly kind and helpful. We felt safe and alone and spent all of our daylight hours outside. Our modified Thanksgiving was a total success (minus a turkey in a warm kitchen on a cold and snowy day in Park City, Utah… oh well).

Things to remember: Charlotte and Johnny crashing into the waves on our first night as the sun went down, cheese grater sand, room service breakfast on balcony, Johnny catching a fish in his net, cabana with fruit and drinks and fried crickets, the ocean bicycle, walking to our room in the dark, playing in the giant pool, the cheese grater sand once again, fireworks Thanksgiving night, the outdoor shower, green hair, Montage merit badges, sea turtles hatching and running into the ocean, the giant blue floatie island Charlotte and Johnny played on for hours and hours, making socially distanced friends, delicious and expensive margaritas, the champagne party where we all danced, our family relying on each other as we live and thrive through these unprecedented times, me never wanting to change anything and hoping we can all freeze forever in Cabo.

So… happy Thanksgiving 2020 pandemic style.

Our Huck Finn Christmas Card

This year’s Christmas card theme came naturally after 9 months of living through the pandemic. We feel incredibly grateful to have each other and our small ranch when the world seemed too scary to face. The days blended into months and our children lived their life as only Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer might know – barefoot and muddy without the confinement of the unprecedented and only somewhat civilized world.

Happy Holidays 2020 from the Mellors – John, Kelsi, Charlotte, Johnny, Prissy and Ginger.

Fall and Huck Finn

We had a special Sunday in fall where I whipped out my good camera to document a few moments around the ranch. We were aiming to do a mock-up of our family Christmas card shoot which involved a homemade raft and some very Huck Finn kids living their usual life. It was all too good not to document. Oh and there were some elk that came to visit in the morning while the camera was out.

Hay Day 2020

Hay Day 2020

Make hay while the sun shines… maybe that’s our family motto or at least it’s our annual family holiday (a.k.a. Hay Day)! It’s usually a week long process that blends into this wholesome family activity that feeds our country souls. This year made it feel even more precious as we held on tighter to everything that felt safe and whole and could help us escape the troubling times of COVID. Just get on the tractor and feel the vibration, smell the fresh cut grass, see the dogs chase voles, show the kids what it’s really like to be a (gentleman) farmer.

Also, pictured below is our garden… the newest addition to Mellor Ranch.