I’ve been home from the lake for one week and I finally feel like I am back into my groove. I was lucky enough to settle into a vacation pattern during my ten days at the lake…ten days of sleeping in, staying up late, eating endless chips and dips, enjoying a new drink everyday and not opening my computer more than once! This summer was particularly exciting because all of the cousins got to be together for one day (minus our one cousin Emily who had to work). We haven’t all been together at the same place and time for years since we’re split between a few states. Our annual cousin line up is something I cherish. The line keeps getting longer and longer with the little cousins, but I also keep getting bumped over by the ones who grow taller than me!
The annual lake vacation is so important to me because I can refocus and rejuvenate. While things in my career and personal life may change, it seems like things stay the same up at the lake. It reminds me of priorities in life – spending time with family, building relationships with those you love and keeping things simple. The little things, like having a cup of coffee on the patio while the lake is smooth as glass and taking a tandem bike ride up and down the street to look at the lake houses and wave to neighbors – feel especially meaningful.
Whenever the whole family gathers we all pitch in to create a potluck style lunch or dinner. Someone brings the meats, someone else brings ingredients for a salad, there are never a shortage of chips, and certainly my Aunt Ann will be in charge of dessert. I love how it all ends up coming together.
My grandpa Myron will lead us in a prayer and we can break bread together while counting our blessings. The moment we all gather together in a circle to say grace gives me goosebumps every time. We have family members from age 80 to 9 months old. My grandpa and grandma started it all with their eight children! It truly is incredible to see the circle of life.
Every evening while I’m at the lake, I have to stop and savor the sunset over the water each night. It is honestly magical to watch the sky illuminate every evening in a different combination of colors. My mom loved these Minnesota sunset more than anything, and every time I see them I think of her. She insisted we stop what we were doing to watch the sunset every summer we spent in Minnesota together, and now I try to keep the tradition going with my relatives.
My family is a big water skiing family, but one of my highlights from the lake this year was learning how to surf without holding on to the rope. Spending time on our neighbor’s boat listening to music and watching everyone surf made for some of the best afternoons at the lake. My cousin Mitchell is a great videographer with his GoPro and drone, so he put together this video about our lake life 2016. You’ll catch me dancing with my crazy hair, jumping into the water with him and even surfing for a few seconds!
Every summer as the time at the lake wraps up, I already begin counting down the days until the next trip. This summer was filled with delicious grilled food, gorgeous weather, family, friends, an Eric Church concert, so many Snapchat videos and all around great memories. I hope you’ve enjoyed following along!
Love food. Love self. Love life.