I can find so many sketches, so many journal pages, so many plans and dreams of creating a place that breathes of love…and peace…and beauty…and rest…and solace….and creativity…and community…and family….and loveliness….and nurturing…and fun fun fun….well, we dreamed it up….and now we are starting to live it…..and it is even better than the dreams about it…..

I have to admit….I have been kind of stingy for the last year with information, photos, etc. concerning what’s been going on in my personal world….there’s a reason for that….about a year ago when I did my big Facebook/Social Media 90 day fast…….I completely redesigned my life during that quiet time……and one of the biggest things I decided was that I didn’t want my life to look like a big PR campaign anymore…..after almost 15 years of being in business, and keeping my life pretty public….I wanted to know what kind of life I would really live if I was never going to blog about it or put it in a magazine or make it a show…know what I mean????

Here’s me sitting in my bedroom……we painted our first bedroom set after 20 years….and I did it turquoise…and I am happy to tell you that even though it’s been turquoise for a year, this week is the first time I have showed anyone…because I did it for my heart and soul…..but I know you will love looking too……..(and we will be doing a home tour on the blog this summer too…yay!)

So……why haven’t we shown lots of pictures til now???? After a few months…I kind of got addicted to this new way of authentic living…..living just for my heart and my soul and my family…and doing what I really yearned to do no matter what anyone else thought…no matter what the pictures showed. And we did it! I would challenge you to try it for a while…….try to live your life the way you would if there was no such thing as blogs or facebook….ya know? It really changes everything….it sure did for me.

I was telling our oldest son, Brock….and my husband a few nights ago that I have never ever ever felt so happy….so at peace…so utterly blissed out. We really worked hard to design the exact right life for us…and to be sitting here living it is an incredible, beautiful miracle…especially when I think about where we were just a few short years ago and what a huge struggle things were every day. Here’s us after a long day of working on the ‘ranch’.

Well…..it’s been almost a year since we set out on this particular journey and we are really ready to start sharing with you some of the things we’ve been up to. There are SO MANY THINGS that we will be unveiling this summer…I feel like Kathy and I have both been pregnant with triplets or quadruplets and haven’t told anyone…..but that soon we will show up with a whole bunch of babies πŸ™‚ …….one of the very very very wonderful, big things that has happened is the birth of BRAVE RIVER RANCH…the place where we will soon be hosting retreats from the turquoise barn and the beautiful ranch house…..and the forest…and the grounds……..the magic of this place goes on and on………my family is also lucky enough to live here. We wake up every day in awe of it’s beauty and peace and sparkly magic…..as a crew…we’ve been working hard on it…the whole BGC crew and friends and family too….

…..there’s still so much to do, every day…hundreds of plants to be planted that will be here this week…..beautiful installations….lots of things we can’t tell yet because we want them to be a surprise for our retreat guests this summer….but here’s some photos we wanted to share. ……..I hope, we all hope, with all of our hearts that you will be able to come join us out here in Idaho soon. We will be announcing several more retreats in coming weeks….different things than we have done before….writing retreats, painting retreats, metal and leatherworking retreats…..so much awesomeness to come so stay tuned…..

I love that we are showing you the blank canvas….in a few months when everything starts to grow in……..wowzers….

Also…these photos are just the back part of the property……in a while we will show you the rest…the ranch house..the turquoise barn…the fields….the front…….the deep forest parts……this is just the parts we worked on this week…..

Lots of beautiful mulch was put into flowerbeds everywhere………..big toys for big boys. πŸ™‚

And little toys for little boys………..

If you look closely….you can see Marq trimming the trees and Brock driving the tractor….there is something so heartwarming about looking out the window and seeing this scene……:)

I think we have burned 25 truckloads of old dead wood and stuff that had to be pruned out, cleaned out…….but my man loves fire…especially giant weed torches….and tractors….and trucks…and loud equipment…….so it’s a win/win right?

This is a really cool herb garden that will go right outside the kitchen….to be planted in a few weeks:

This is another rose garden outside my bedroom…..I raked it all out with Kathy and then the boys put in mulch…we are going to do something super cool with those framed out areas…can’t wait to show you…

this is how the path looked when the boys were done with it…

The rose garden between the house and barn……can’t wait to see what colors the roses are!!!!!

We are just starting to plant lots of herbs, flowers and shrubs…

That is the garden spot…….lots of varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers will be planted next week when the plants get here….can’t wait to have garden fresh tomatoes!!!!

And the crew workin’ workin’ workin’….always with smiles and laughter and fun….I love these people!

Here’s my son Brock…posing…I guess that’s what single 21 year olds do……they pose. πŸ™‚

But he sure moved a lot of rock to build this rock wall around the perimeter of the back yard!!!!!

And of course Kathy took care of all of us….cooking while weeding, hauling dirt and loving on her grandbabies!

Even the littles got in on the work action….

Such wonderful friends…always show up when we are in need……I love that…and we are always there for them too….love how we can all love each other in this way!

It’s definitely a family affair around here……babies and all…..just one big happy workin’ family …..

Lots of jokin’ to keep it real. πŸ™‚

And the boys can always be found where the loud noises and big machines are. πŸ™‚

Love working with my daughters and nieces…..

And of course, when the work is done…..we eat and we play………and we feel good about all that we accomplished….it has already been such a super fun Spring….parties, BBQs and get-togethers….so many more to come, too. πŸ™‚

And we just can’t wait to start having our retreats…….what we want most is to create a place that feels safe, beautiful, relaxing, invigorating, fun, loving, comforting…….a place where you are treated with the love and care and nurturing that you deserve to be treated with…….that your soul is so hungry for…..a place to rest….a place to remember what you already know but that life has made you forget….

…so…we are creating that place…and we can’t wait for you to get here. xoxo

So…gotta get back to work….we have lots of parties to plan!!! BGC in McCall in just 3 weeks! Then our first BGC here at the ranch shortly after that……..life is so good….the work is hard but the work is awesome. We are loving life….loving it SO MUCH.

OHHHHHHHH…..and soon we will be telling you about our BIG HUGE LAUNCH of the Brave Girl Shoppe……..we are making beautiful products for you to buy……..working nonstop at it…..here’s some of the art I’ve been working on to make into prints and other soul-treats……………we will tell you about it all sooo soooon!!!! xoxoxo

Thanks for sharing all of this wonderfulness with us…..our dream is to have you here with us in person…..and we are working hard to make it so that there are lots of opportunities to do that. We SOOOOOO love having you here…it is one of the best parts of life for us.

Hope to see you soon! Dream big dreams……then dream even bigger ones!

xoxo

melody