so every summer we pack up, load the van and drive to northern michigan. it's visiting family and cooler temps, it's a road trip and vacation, but it's really just a circus transport. i love every part of this…even the long drive. i set up activities for the kids and we play games along the way and find interesting places to stop along the way. i used to make this trip as a kid and i love that my own little crew gets to have the same experience up north at a magical little place called bay view, michigan. my dad did this as a kid and my grandparents. my kids are making similar memories to the ones i made and that ones have made for generations past.
i skipped some years going after matt and i were married and before kiddos. we've been going back up there since hazel was born and now, this summer…it was gonna be the best summer. we set up a sitter from home to meet us there to help, so that matt could just work from up there. hazel and anders are both old enough to do more of the activities offered up there. lena loves riding in the trailer behind the bike and walking in the cool breeze. i pictured running with my sister and sister-in-law along the trail that kisses little traverse bay and spending some mornings in a coffee shop all by myself.
i re-injured my back on the way up. this happened 2 years ago, before lena was walking. and now, after she's struggled more in the last few months, i have scooped her 7 year-old self up a lot. it's just what mom's do…when your kid is crying or needs you, you scoop them up. i could've been smarter with the scooping of a 50lb kid and that is easy to say now, i guess.
and well, on the way to 4 weeks with family in a magical place...it was a bummer. and saying something seemingly real laid-back-no-big-deal like "bummer" and laughing awkwardly is just all i can do these days. now that we are home, surgery is likely and likely soon. and when we wonder how we'll do all this, He will be near. and that's how summer up north went as well. i was hurting and we wondered how we were gonna make it but God didn't just show up, He was there all along. lena did amazing, she was happy and content, even with my parenting from the sidelines and our sitter who came up was remarkable with her and everyone there. my family helped a ton with kids and groceries and laundry. hazel and anders did great and made great memories with their cousins.
this is all so much grace, i can't even describe it.
i packed and was so proud and matt mooney still thinks this is too much for 16 hour road trip, 5 humans and 4 weeks away.
they do so great on long trips.
i plan all these organized crafty-activities and anders doesn't do them…he rigs his drink and bulldozer on a string somehow. such a little dude.
lena discovered pringles.
we stopped at a hotel/resort place outside of chicago with an indoor arcade, watermark and amusement park. everyone was a fan.
some serious focus at the arcade game
hiking at starved rock state park in illinois…ya know, back when i could do things like hike (insert awkward laugh here)
finding pretty things along the way
after a day of driving, a day of adventures and another day of driving…we made it!
and cousins are awesome
lena loves sweeping and my dad is showing her how to actually sweep and not just bang the broom on the floor…he was a patient, kind teacher…and lena still prefers to bang the broom on the floor
papa tom's sail boat
bookshop fun at one of the best independent book stores, mclean and eakin
fun treats from the candy shop
this is our fearless and joyful sitter, michaela…i can not describe what a champ she was
cousins and aunts and duck duck goose
sometimes you go play in the park and your 4 year old boy finds a zumba class and joins in from a distance and then joins in close up for 3 songs. maybe the most i've ever laughed in my life.
i loved how all the grandparents, aunts, uncles, adults around would think that kids weren't listening to adult conversations…this is never the case with hazel.
sunday night vespers concert…not pictured: an attempt to bring lena because she loves music, but the first few songs were guest acapela singers instead of the orchestra and so she didn't last long
beautiful bay view
when the mom has a bad back and the dad and the sitter are doing everything, there has to be yoga, aka comic relief, when the kids go to bed
pirate day and she lost her first tooth!!!!
cousins and pj day at tot lot
lena louise, so loved and so hip
our friend josh came to visit and hazel jumped on asking him to swim with her all the way out to the buoy because he can't say no to our kiddos and no one else will stay in the freezing cold water that long…haaa!!
still managed to get some good time with ms lena even though i couldn't physically help her and be with her like we are used to
so crazy thankful for this place…no back injury makes this less beautiful.