Andi was determined to teach Tory how to jump off the dock this summer and me, being the cautious mama I am, couldn't possible imagine Tory was ready for this. Andi: 1; Heather: 0; because, um, Tory nailed it! I think we have countless sessions of swimming lessons to thank as it's what Tory practices in the pool weekly. Jumping into the lake is a different environment though, and I wasn't sure how Tory would react. For one, the water isn't the balmy 85 degrees it is at the indoor swimming pool and it's also darker and filled with things like fish and weeds. This didn't stop Tory though. She wasn't nervous to jump into the water one bit. Andi eased her into things by catching her at first and in no time, Tory was jumping off the dock and swimming to the ladder on her own (with one of us nearby and ready to assist, of course). I couldn't be more proud of our little girl. Summer just got a lot more fun for this girl. We had the hardest time convincing her to get out of the lake this weekend after she felt the thrill of jumping in and swimming like a big kid.
Oh, and the fun didn't stop there...
Summer is officially here and we had a fabulous weekend to show it. The sound of Tory's bare feet pitter-pattering down the dock; squeals of delight as she jumped into the lake again and again; cruising around the lake on the pontoon boat with a warm breeze surrounding us; gobbling up juicy cheeseburgers fresh from the grill; the smell of a bonfire at the end of the night on our sun-kissed skin. When I think of summertime, this is it. THE BEST.
Friday night as I dressed Tory in pajamas she said, "Mommy, I had so much fun" (referencing her first experience jumping into the lake) and on our drive back to the Twin Cities Sunday evening she cried, "I miss my cabin." So do we, babe. So do we. It's such a gift to hear those heartfelt expressions come from a child's lips to her parent's ears. Our lake cabin will forever and always be a special place in Tory and Aden's hearts. Their best childhood memories happen there -- even the ones that have yet to take place. It's enough to bring tears to my eyes and exactly why Andi and I love that place so much, too.
The kids were up early, early Saturday morning so Andi and I loaded everyone into the car and drove to Hayward, Wisconsin for their annual Musky Festival. We stumbled on this celebration last year during our RV adventure and had so much fun there; Andi and I knew we had to go back. We pulled into the town of Hayward just as Musky Fest was beginning and it was the perfect time to browse the vendor tables for kitchy cabin decorations and listen to music without the crowds of people. Tory participated in a kids' sack race and won a pineapple upside-down cake at a cake walk. ("I liked that cupcake game," she said later). We ate hand-dipped corn dogs and BBQ ribs and stopped for ice cream at West's Dairy. My favorite store was Tremblay's Sweet Shoppe - oh my goodness, it was amazing! Andi was in heaven (the man's never met a candy he didn't like) and Tory's eyes were the size of saucers as we watched employees make candy from scratch and picked out treats to buy from stacks and stacks of candies. I love nostalgic small towns like Hayward. What a great place for a family day of fun.
We spent the rest of the day on Saturday fishing, swimming and cruising around the lake on the pontoon boat. The weather was absolutely gorgeous - 80's and sunny. The perfect summer day.
|Matching sun suits!|
|Bomb Pops by the lake|
|Little stinker got mama good!|
Just before sunset, Andi and I took the kids for a truck ride in the Ranger ATV. We saw deer, turkeys and a turtle on our journey through the countryside. Andi and Tory go for rides all the time, but the conditions and time of day have to be just right for Aden (not too hot or cold; has to be napped and fed, etc. so he's not too cranky), so I was excited the four of us finally had a chance to go for a ride together. We might look like a hot mess after being outdoors all day, but I love this photo of our family so much.
Ah, this is cabin life.