family homestead

Love, Gen: We’re Falling Forward

It’s the beginning of August, which means one thing for me and my family: trying to squeeze every last sandy beach weekend and candy-colored sunset out of summer before school and work rev back up—and before you know it, it’s time for the holidays. It’s crazy how that happens every year, right?

At the end of summer, I find myself taking time to unwind and recharge. For me and my family, that means disengaging from the hustle and bustle of Austin and going back to one of the places I loved most as a kid: the mountains of Sun Valley. The mountains are where I can really get in touch and ground myself, whether it’s by taking a hike that gets my heart going, floating in a beautiful body of water, or simply heading outside for a few minutes to breathe in all that fresh mountain air.

On the one hand, I think every parent has that thought towards the end of summer of “is it time for the kids to go back to school yet??” But then I also think we’re like, “Holy shit, it’s already time for them to go back to school??” It’s funny that no matter how frazzled we are by having the kids around all summer, the first day of school always sort of seems like a surprise.

So this year, to make sure we get the most out of our last days of summer, I’m taking the kids camping for a week with my brother and a couple of friends while we’re still here in Idaho. When we camp, we don’t do the luxury camping thing, we really go all-in: pitching tents, cooking over a fire, putting our phones on Airplane mode so there aren’t any distractions (not that they work that well out there anyway). It’s a grounding experience, one that brings all of us back to the earth and each other and the simple things that are important. My father used to take us camping when we were kids, and I always left feeling like I’d accomplished and learned something. I want to instill that same feeling of pride in my kids, before they hit the books again in September.

That’s my plan for August, before the first day of school creeps up on us. How are you spending your last moments of summer? Ping me in the comments below. Happy August, everyone!


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  • Christine Chen

    I’m spending the last weeks of my summer break working at my part time job and hanging out with friends… before the stress of college comes kickin’ again!

  • Chelsea Day

    Forever Mom goals. ?

  • Andie

    I’m taking my kids to visit my parents and my sisters in Nova Scotia where we’re planning to spend the week at the beach every second we can. I desperately miss my favorite beaches since we moved last year.

    Then one of my sisters and I are taking our daughters on their first plane trip to go to their first real concert. The girls love Ed Sheeran and have been waiting patiently (sort of ;)) since they got the tickets for Christmas. We’ll get back just in time to settle in for a few days before school starts up again.

  • Olivia

    This was such a great post, the trip sounds amazing! Hope you all have an amazing time I love you xx

  • Angie

    My last moments of summer will be spent with my kiddos at the pool, at the park, in our home with watercolors and coloring pages, just trying to have fun. We had a great break and now its time to prepare for kinder and first year of preschool. Bittersweet for sure!! Wouldn’t trade these summers for anything though.

  • Mandy Hammons

    Spending next weekend at our family lake place in Idaho, then the next weekend on the Oregon Coast. Can’t wait to get my boys back to the beach!

  • Birdy

    Hi Gen, Reading your post I realized that my ‘summer’ starts after everybody else is getting back to their busy lives. My summers are busy, nut I do get what you are saying. Just having a little time to wind down before heading back to the every day routine….. we all need that. Can’t wait to sit at the fire pit with my best friend and family, no phone, no time presure…. just relax. Getting in touch with each other and have a conversation about the day.
    love, Birdy

  • Travia

    Your such an inspiration Genevieve..?

  • Sue Ladigo

    Gosh the kids here in Arizona go back on the 7th so you are very lucky to have some more summer to enjoy. You are a great mom. Hope to meet you one day.

  • Felicia Blair

    My son Camden is about to start Kindergarten on Wednesday, August 8th! Big Milestone! So we’ve gotten school supplies and making sure he has everything he needs! Plus, starting to get him in bed at a reasonable hour and on a schedule, so it’s hectic before school starts! We’ll be spending these last days before school swimming, riding the go-cart and just relaxing! Any advice for a Mom that has a child starting Kindergarten?! Much love to you and your family! -Felicia (Rossville, GA)

  • Sissi

    Hi Gen,
    HHope you have a great time out on the wild with your family and friends.
    I spent last days of summer down in the south of France (Lubéron), beautiful région if ever ypu come to France one day.
    Thank you for your blog and all the best for you and your loved ones ?

  • Hailey Owens

    Lovely photos, Gen! Being an Alabama native, I try to do my best to hit as many swimming holes and kayaking trails. I also take this time to reflect on the fun I’ve had. My favorite time of year is fall! I look forward to crocheting all the things for my loved one at this time too. I love you and your beautiful family. Have a good rest of your Summer.


  • Safa Difi

    Hello there! I can’t describe how greatly I’m inspired by your blogs! Though I’m a feminist to the core, but never thought that a female can make a family simultaneously keep lifting up her career, ambitions and her dreams. You are such an idol for how a mom and a female should be. Thank you for your inspiration! Much of love here (algeria) from a 24 years girl looking for self development.

  • Anabela

    Hi Gen!! I absolutely love this article. I went to a cycling and camping camp and it was so amazing! I agree that we do not get enough time to be unplugged. I lived in nyc my whole life so it was so great to be able to be in nature for a little while. Thank you ❤️❤️

  • Anabela

    Hi Gen!! I absolutely love this article. I went to a cycling and camping camp and it was so amazing! I agree that we do not get enough time to be unplugged. I lived in nyc my whole life so it was so great to be able to be in nature for a little while. Thank you ❤️ Anabela

  • Patti

    Love this post! My son & I just went on my very 1st camping trip with my 3 sisters, their kids, & our mom! My 2 girls didn’t want to go, but what a great experience! Thanks for the post Gen! To become one with nature is a magical thing!! Xx ~Patti~

  • Tina Lycett

    My 18 year old actually asked to come Kayaking with me this morning, what a great way to reconnect and enjoy quality time. Love getting outdoors with family. Enjoy the small or simple moments in life.

  • Holly

    I feel the same way about these last few weeks! It’s doubly bittersweet for me, as I work for EANES ISD and have to re acclimate myself to early mornings and regimented routines. Luckily for us, Texas gives us so many small and beautiful cities to visit! The kids and I will head down to Wimberley over the next few days to enjoy a cottage in the creek. Time to walk around barefoot and unwind before hitting the books! Beautiful pictures and beautiful message, Gen. Enjoy the rest of summer!!

  • Sara Wilson

    Where we live the kids go back to school August 1st, so we’re already done with break. We always spend the last little bit of it swimming and staying up late together before we have to get back to the stricter school schedule. My youngest just started kindergarten this year, so I’m a little weepy! Tom is looking SO grown up, too! It’s insane the way the time just slips by. Have a great rest of your summer!

  • Cortney Honan

    I was just thinking how summer is almost over! I spend it riding my horses as much as possible because by October I have to pull all the rain gear out and ride in the rain. It’s about savoring the sunlight too! Already its getting dark ar 8:45 vs 9:30! I love camping. Only I take my horses with me so we can explore new places together! Have fun in Idaho!

  • Melissa Browning

    I thoroughly enjoy your posts – I too am an Idaho native – we try to spend time swimming and fishing. Just spend time outdoors as much as we can. There is so much to see and enjoy. School starts way too soon. Enjoy your summer. Love you and your beautiful family.

  • Alexandra

    Hi Gen,
    I can totally relate to what you’ve wrote. As I am just sitting on the bus heading home from a scoutscamp I know what it means to be outside and just feeling the nature. Thank you for your post!
    To answer your question, I will spend the rest of the hollidays at home but my sister and I will go to the Black Forest to visit our grandparents (sorry for my english I am from germany, therefor not a native speaker)
    I hope you enjoy your Summer❤

  • Kristina Clark

    Hey Gen,
    First off I wanna say I’m a huge fan & love U, Ur hubby & ur 3 BEAutiful kids! Secondly myyyy summer has bn filled full of wonderful trips. I just got back from a girls trip to Vegas last Tuesday (5 days there just wasn’t enough, I’m alrdy wantn to go back lol) & now 2’rw me & my whole family leave for the beach(Myrtle Beach SC), we have a camper down there & we just love it! That’s as close to camping as I can get lol. So ur a brave woman for going “real camping” lol. The campground we go2 is super kid friendly & I just love the ambience of it there. It’s my place to relax & recharge from all the summer hustle and bustle of having a teenage boy, who keeps me ON THE GO none stop! So we go there for 10 days right b4 school starts & just relax & he can do what he wants(as long as he’s n the campground that is lol) & I can lay out on the beach & recharge… but every night we all get together make dinner & go get ice cream(a family tradition) & spend time as a family & then as the sun sets the golf carts come out & we all cruise the stripe n the campground on our golf carts! It’s something that has bn done as far back as I can remember lol but we just all rlly enjoy it. && in the end that week is our week as a family to spend time together & reconnect b4 everyone starts school & starts sports & then we end up not seeing each other till the holidays, like U said bc they kinda creep up on us! But if we didn’t have this week & time together as a family at the beach idk if our family would b as strong as it is bc we all have kids & they have their sports & we have wrk & so on ya know. So that’s how we as a Family end our summers & get rdy for the school year! We love going to the campground so we try to do as many times as well can throughout the summer but this last week is the one time every member of the family is definitely there!

    Thanks for Always Sharing with Us ur daily life & I hope U & the rest of Ur family have fun on ur “real camping trip” lol bc we will on ours… Our family “Glamping Trip” lol ?
    Xoxo Kristina Clark???

  • Valeria

    I’m not a mom by any means, but school really does creep up, and I can relate! Growing up in NYC there is so much hustle and bustle, but I love coming down to Houston and visiting family. We’re always going camping, and real camping, none of that glamping stuff. It’s always just so great to disconnect and feel connected in a new way!

  • Anne

    Reading your story reminders me of my own youth. Camping with my parents and brothers. Doing things we wanted the do, feeling free of everything in the world. I did the same things with my own three children. And they also loved it and have beautiful memories. Now they grew up and are all adults and have their own lifes . There no summer holidays more, no camping, no fire pits, no more swimming in the river. Digging in my memories makes me sometimes a little sad. Knowing it’s al over.
    So, you’re doing a great job by realising how important and wonderful this part of your life is. And making all these beautiful memories for your children . Enjoy it to it’s deepest.

  • Arrianna Tate

    This was refreshing to read. I always get this sort of nervous/excited energy towards the end of summer. I can’t wait for school to start but I also worry about the coursework and finding work. Summer is so beautiful to me and makes me think of family and freedom. Fall makes me nostalgic about elementary school and middle school days , back when things were simple and unknown. That’s why there both of my favorite seasons.

  • Hailey

    These photos are absolutely stunning! You are certainly a very beautiful women!???

  • Erika

    Gen, I’m not trying to be a downer on this but please make sure none of the kids have open wounds or put their head under the water in streams. There could be bacteria or tape worms in the water. I’ve heard of many cases and I’m just being a over protective mom right now. I have two daughters of my own. Love, Erika

  • Lisa Reames

    I try to spen as much time, outside, with Sky. Although the Oklahoma heat came be overbearing, we’ve lucked out as this next week is only going to be in the 80s. Let’s not forget that 2 weeks ago, we were baking cookies on the dash of the car. Yeah, it got that hot. We’ve been doing some rock painting and hiding them around town. #RockOnDuncan

  • Jaci

    I would love to take my kids camping but being a 24/7 care provider for my disabled military husband takes a lot of those opportunities out of my hands. Luckily I have amazing parents that make sure my kids don’t miss out on that stuff while mom gets a free weekend to unwind! Lol

    • Mickie

      Blessings to you and your family. Strenght and love.???????

  • Darlene McClendon

    My parents use to take us camping every summer . Those times are still among my favorite memories. It helped keep us grounded and brought us closer together as a family. We are all in our 50s and still close

  • Laurie

    We are headed on a fabulous low budget road trip. Starting in Grand Rapids, Mi, through Pennsylvania to Gettysburg to West Virginia up through Ohio , last stop Cedar Point!!! ? Live spending time with the kiddos. Traveling in the car , taking in the sights, if half the fun !!

  • Jessica

    Camping is the best way to recharge and I love getting my boys (I have 2) out on the trails for hikes as much as possible over the summer. It’s my time to reconnect with them and for them to reconnect with each other too. I’ve been thinking about taking them for a camping trip mid week on my own… still haven’t quite gotten the courage though! Have so much fun unplugging. ??

  • Hadley

    I am enjoying my last couple weeks of Summer by trying to prepare myself for college in the fall and watching a TV show I like to watch and spending time with family

  • Hadley

    I am enjoying my last couple weeks of summer by preparing myself for college in the fall watching a TV show i enjoy to watch and spending time with family

  • Mickie

    My youngest will be 19 y/o this month. I home schooled (distance learning) my two daughters. Blessings to you and your family. ??? You inspire me.

  • Phyllis

    Gen you are an amazing mom, and taking the kids camping is making memories. So keep making those wonderful memories for you and your children.
    Love and blessings ?

  • Vanessa

    Wow your kids go back in September that must be nice because my son starts back August 13th here so we are on our last week of summer! ??

  • Heather

    Idaho’s the BEST, huh???? I’m down in Boise, but I try and escape to the mountains as often as I can! I can’t tell from your pics, but I REALLY hope the skies are smoke-free for you during your trip! Take care! Xoxoxo

  • Jordy Sirkin

    I’m closing out Summer by getting my place more in order so it’s ready for cozy fall. There was a ton of decorating I still need to do. I’m taking advantage of the nice days to thrift and shop little boutiques. Even just simply running to the store with a friend (mostly Target runs), just to get out on days I feel sluggish. Because I know when Winter hits, I’ll just be indoors all the time.

  • Kathryn Williams

    Here in the UK the kids don’t go back till the 5th September so we have plenty of time left, just on our first day of
    Our week long trip to the New Forest. Planning all the outings we are going to have, I love the holidays. The kids get to wind down from the daily grind and a break from our usual routine is lovely, spending quality time with family and having fun. I am new to your blog but really enjoying reading through your posts and recipes (which I will be trying out at home), looking forward to many more ?

  • lesdeuxcatastrophes

    It’s camping, too – on the beautiful island of Sardinia/Italy. No electricity to power up your fones, but guitar and voices and campfires and headlamp illuminated night excursions and finding the most interesting insect challenge and bird imitation and inventing star constellations games. Getting inspired by nature!


    I’ve never really been a camping type of person but you do make it sound very nice! Maybe I’ll have to dip my toes into it just a little.

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