Thursday, July 31, 2014

Five Years

Five years ago today on a windy and hot summer evening, Andi and I said "I do." Reflecting on our wedding anniversary this past week, I couldn't help but think about how much we've achieved together.

Two amazing kids.
Five jobs.
One successful business.
Three houses and a lake cabin.
Nine cars. Five boats. Four ATVs. Two snowmobiles.
Countless once-in-a-lifetime trips and experiences.

Andi's wedding vows to me started by saying, " Three houses, four cars and five cell phones in the past 4 years ... I have a history of having an itch for something new."

Boy, was he right. Life with Andi is an adventure. Resting on our laurels is never an option. We go. We do. We see. And, you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way. I love our life together. We're given one opportunity to experience all there is in this world and how lucky am I to get to do it alongside my very best friend?

Answer: The luckiest.


Earlier this week, Andi and I took Tory and Aden to visit Noerenberg Gardens, the place we were married five years ago. What started as an evening reciting our vows to one another has become a tradition to reminisce our wedding day and reflect on our lives together.

Year One
Year Two
Year Three
Year Four

On this evening to celebrate Year Five, our little family of four shared a picnic together overlooking Lake Minnetonka. As Andi and I sat amongst the chaos that is our family right now -- Tory throwing grapes and dancing in the grass; Aden grasping for any plates and food within his immediate reach -- I felt so happy and content in my life. How am I so blessed to share my life with these people?

After dinner, we took our photograph between the white pillars where Andi and I were married. First there were two; then three; and, now four.

Happy anniversary, Andi. I love you always!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Janie's 60th at the Lake Cabin

My mother-in-law Janie said all she wanted for her 60th birthday was to spend the day at our lake cabin with family and friends ... so that's exactly what we did this past weekend. Janie, my father-in-law Jim, Tory, Aden and I loaded up the car last Thursday afternoon and drove to the cabin for a four-day weekend getaway. Andi met us there after work on Friday.

I wanted everything to be perfect for Janie's birthday. She does so much for our family I thought she deserved a relaxing weekend with good food, family time and fun. Janie likes to eat healthy, so I scoured Pinterest to plan tasty good-for-you recipes for our meals. Some recipes were big winners with everyone including this chicken salad, these steak fajitas, this ginger soy salmon and this Greek salad.

Our new meal planning chalkboard at the cabin makes me so happy!

Ginger Soy Salmon with Quinoa and Green Salad

Most of our weekend was pretty chill. Tory spent some time fishing off the dock with Grandpa. Andi took Tory and his parents to the Cumberland farmer's market via Ranger ride one morning while I stayed back at the cabin with Aden. We went for boat rides around the lake, sat on the deck in our "relaxing" chairs (as Tory calls them) and just hung out together.

Tory at the farmer's market

Grandma Janie and Tory on a boat ride

Our happy boy, Aden

It wasn't very cold this weekend, but one night it misted rain and Tory didn't want to get wet. She insisted on wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a blanket.

Notice the decorative 60 I made from black pipe cleaners, hot glue and wooden skewers? I wanted a few subtle decorations for Janie's birthday weekend and I thought this little 60 stuck inside fresh flowers was perfect.


Weather-wise, Saturday was the best summer day we've had all season. It was in the mid-80's, super sunny with no wind -- a perfect day to be at the lake. Janie's sister Judy and her husband Phil, and Janie's friend Caroline joined us at the cabin for the day, so while the kids napped in the afternoon and Janie was occupied with her company, Andi and I snuck away for a few glorious kid-free hours on the lake. We cruised over to pick up our friends Josh and Krista (who's kids were also sleeping) and had the best time boating and drinking on the water. And, guess what? No one demanded snacks or drinks or screamed from wearing their lifejackets. It. Was. Awesome.

Krista and I sans kids!

Saturday night, we hosted another shrimp boil for Andi's family. Always a hit and seriously the easiest meal to clean up afterwards. Judy brought an angel food cake, strawberries and whipped cream for dessert. We sang "happy birthday" to Janie and it was so cute listening to Tory tune into the song. She and I practiced singing "happy birthday" all week in preparation and I think she felt pretty special being a part of the group. Now all Tory talks about is how next time we'll be singing for her birthday.

After a nearly-perfect sunny day at the lake, big storm clouds quickly moved in after dinnertime. The sky looked ominous and changed the entire vibe around the lake. Andi snapped a few pics of he and Tory outdoors under the colorful sky.

The storm just missed the lake and left an absolutely beautiful sight after night fall. Andi and I joined the neighbors for an hour or so after the kids were in bed and on our return home around Midnight, we silently floated in the canoe under a blanket of stars and thunder clouds lighting up in the distance. It was one of the most beautiful outdoor views I'd ever seen. Once we got back to the cabin, Andi grabbed his camera and we took the canoe out again on the lake to capture the moment. Breathtaking.

After midnight under a blanket of stars with thunder clouds in the distance

Oh, Pipe Lake. You'll always have such a special place in our hearts.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Day In The Life: Summer 2014

Wednesday, July 23
(almost one year exactly from last summer's Day In The Life post)

Tory is 2 years, 10 months old
Aden is 8 months old

*I just re-read Summer 2013's Day In The Life post and I simply cannot believe how much our lives have changed in 364 days. Tory was so young (still sitting in a high chair and sleeping in a crib!); Aden wasn't even born yet as I was pregnant with him; I'd just returned from a Nebraska trip visiting family (same as this year) and Andi and I were celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary. I remember parts of this day like it was yesterday and other parts had completely forgotten. I guess that's why these Day In The Life posts are so awesome -- preserving a snapshot of life forever, especially those little details otherwise forgotten.

Now onto this Summer 2014's post ...


1:08am: I wake to hear Tory crying out for me. I go into her room and sit on the little pink stool beside her bed. She lays back down and I prop my head on another pillow on her bed. I must've fallen back asleep sitting in this contorted position because my neck feels broken. Not sure how much time has passed until I crawl back into my own bed, glance at the clock and see it's only been 10 minutes. Andi sleepily whispers "thanks" for getting up with Tory.

For nearly three years now, we've battled to teach Tory how to sleep through the night. A few weeks ago, we introduced a sticker chart to reward Tory for staying in her own bed, not calling out for us during the night, sleeping all night without wake-ups and staying in her bed until it's an acceptable time to wake up. Initially, the sleeping chart worked wonders and Tory was sleeping through the night without issue, but then we traveled to Nebraska last week and to the lake cabin last weekend and we've regressed a bit since then.

2:59am: Aden wakes up. I listen to him fuss for a minute to see if he'll soothe himself back to sleep while also being mindful of Andi and Tory sleeping. It's a delicate balance of crying it out / being respectful of everyone else's sleep in the house. Aden's cries progress, so I get up and make him a bottle of formula. I bring Aden back to our bed and feed him, burp him and lay him back down in the nursery. The 3:00am wake-up is fairly typical of Aden's new nighttime sleep schedule. Yes, I wish he was sleeping through the night completely, but I'll also take one nightly wake-up over several anytime.

3:10am: Of course, my mind raced with thoughts while I fed Aden and now I'm wide awake. I check emails on my iPhone and respond to a few messages. Sometimes, it's the best time for me to correspond without interruption. Two hands and a quiet mind to form a thought -- now there's a novel idea! I reach out to our neighborhood's Mom's Club to let the others know how I can help with the annual parade next month.

3:27am: I get up to use the bathroom and tell myself to go to sleep. I lay in bed awake until 4:00am thinking about more stuff -- this weekend's meal plan at the cabin, what to pack for the weekend, the kids, etc.

6:30am: I hear Tory cry out from her bedroom and I glance at the clock to check the time. I retrieve her from her room, along with her pillow, blanket and favorite Lambie stuffed animal and carry her to the three-season porch as not to wake Aden in the next room. On a good day, Tory will sleep in until 7:30am but I'll take 6:30am, I suppose. We talk about her sleep sticker chart and I explain why she won't get all her stickers because she called out for us un-necessarily in the night. It breaks my heart when I see her sad little face, but this chart seems to be the only traction we've had in getting her to sleep soundly.

6:40am: Andi joins Tory and I out on the three-season porch and kisses Tory good-bye before he leaves for work. She tells him not to forget to kiss Mommy. Thanks for looking out, kid!

6:48am: Aden wakes up. I pick him out of his crib and change his diaper. Tory joins us in his room so I take the opportunity to change her diaper, too. Both kids play on the floor on Aden's bedroom floor for a while. They're always so excited to see one another in the morning.

7:00am: Tory asks for breakfast, so we move to the kitchen. We have zero groceries in the house since I didn't make it to the grocery store during my Monday morning babysitter time. No bread. No yogurt. Basically the end of the world in Tory's eyes. I survey the cupboards and ask Tory to choose between an egg burrito or oatmeal for breakfast. She chooses both. I put Aden in the high chair with some toys while I made breakfast. 

7:15am: Tory eats her breakfast while seated at her kid's table in the kitchen and I feed Aden pureed prunes and apples. He loves his sippy cup of water (and is pretty skilled at drinking out of it, too!) and is more interested in drinking from his cup than eating breakfast. He's also battling a summer cold this week and is having trouble breathing through his nose which could be to blame. 

I split a portion of Tory's egg burrito and oatmeal for my breakfast, but I'm not even hungry so I end up throwing it away. Coffee is a must, though. I have a few sips of the good stuff before Aden grows tired of breakfast time and I stop everything to clean him up.

7:30am: I wipe Aden's face and hands, clean the high chair and Tory's little meal table. Wash bottles for the millionth time. Meanwhile, Tory watches a cartoon on the three-season porch and Aden plays on his activity mat. I seize the opportunity to run downstairs and do a load of laundry while everyone's content. You'd never believe it, but I spent the majority of yesterday doing laundry and there are still PILES of laundry to complete today. We brought all the dirty sheets and towels home from the cabin last weekend so after my usual weekly laundry I also had to wash extra towels and sheets for this weekend's cabin visitors too. Not complaining ... but it's a LOT of washing to do. 

8:00am: Tory requests a "moovie" (smoothie) so I blend one up for her. Freshly picked strawberries, blueberries and Greek yogurt. I'm so glad she's into smoothies lately because she's not a big fruit and vegetable eater. I can usually sneak in a good amount of fruits/veggies into a smoothie and she's none the wiser. The strawberry / blueberry smoothie actually sounds good to me, so I pour myself a small glass as well. Aden starts to cry so I prepare his morning bottle and feed him.

8:30am: I lay Aden down for his morning nap. Tory offers me her own smoothie she made for me (a plastic play cup with two wooden sticks inside for the straw). What a sweetie! She also requests the remainder of the strawberry smoothie I'd saved for myself. Of course, I give it to her. Moving on to sweep the hardwood floors and wipe the counter tops clean while I have a minute to do so. 

9:00am: Aden's asleep, so this is when I usually take the opportunity to get Tory and I dressed for the day. Love summertime and our slower schedule which allows for us to stay in our jammies until 9:00am or 10:00am some days. I dress Tory in a one-piece jumper. She stands in front of the mirror and says, "Mom, you say 'Ladies and Gentleman!', then I'll twill around." What a character.

9:30am: I make a few phone call for the neighborhood parade set to take place next month. I call our town's police department and request a squad car to be in the parade and I also arrange for an ice cream truck to visit the neighborhood gathering afterwards. Just notice I never finished my coffee and it's obviously cold by now. I warm it up in the microwave.

Tory plays dress-up. She's a princess, shying away from me when I try to snap her photo.

10:00am: Aden wakes up from his morning nap, so I dress him for the day. Also change diapers on both kids. I gather the diaper bag, some snacks for Tory, water bottles for both her and I and load the kids in their car seats. I'm working with Tory to learn how to buckle her own car seat straps (at least the chest harness) so this takes a few extra minutes but will be worth it in the end when she can buckle herself into her own chair.

10:30am: First stop: the jewelry store. Andi and I are celebrating our five-year wedding anniversary next week and he gave me an anniversary band to accompany my wedding ring as my gift. I love it! Since the day we got married, I've dreamed of having a matching anniversary band to wear with my wedding ring and for some reason, I thought Year Five was the perfect milestone to have it. Back then, I guess I thought five years seemed like a really big accomplishment. 

During our entire drive to the jewelry store, Tory repeatedly asks why I'm getting a new ring (as a present from Daddy/Andi), where the ring is (jewelry store) and who got the ring for me (Daddy / Andi). Over and over. And over again some more. Always a million questions from this girl.

One we're back in the car after picking up the anniversary band, I snap a picture with my iPhone and text it to Andi and my mom. Can't help myself. LOVE!

11:00am: Next stop: Target. Andi's parents, Janie and Jim, are joining us at the cabin tomorrow to celebrate Janie's 60th birthday. I'm treating Janie to a weekend of relaxation so I've taken care of all the meal planning and preparations for the weekend. Dreading the chore of hauling both kids into the store for such a big shopping trip, but I don't have a choice -- I need to get everything ready for tomorrow.

Tory and Aden are well-behaved in Target. It's Aden's first time sitting solo in the cart (because I need the room w/o his car seat for groceries) and Tory eventually gets to walk next to the cart (so I can fill the cart to the brim), so she's pretty excited. Thank goodness for free cookies from Target's bakery and lots of snacks to keep her occupied.

12:30pm: Finished shopping at Target and the kids are nearing melt-down because it's lunchtime. I drive the few minutes to our house and quickly unload the shopping bags into the house. Aden is barely holding it together, so I set him in the high chair and toss some crackers on the tray to keep him busy while I make Tory a PBJ sandwich and a handful of white cheddar popcorn for lunch. Double-Mommy points for an extra healthy lunch today. (Kidding.) I meant to add some fruit from the 'fridge but got distracted.

Next, I heat up some lunch for Aden. He eats leftover peas in the Boon feeder and half a jar of pureed sweet potatoes. He's over sitting in the high chair, but still hungry so I bottle feed him 6oz. of formula. 

No time for me to eat lunch, although I'm starving. Must. Keep. Moving.

1:00pm: Change Aden's diaper and lay him down for a nap after his bottle. Change Tory's diaper and read her three books before bed. Today's books: Wheels on the Bus, Skippy Jon Jones and Old MacDonald. I kiss Tory good-night and she cries because she wants me to sit beside her bed until she falls asleep. NOPE. I hold strong and tell her I'll leave the door open and be back to check on her in a few minutes. I leave Tory's room and go into Aden's to re-plug his pacifier. He's still not sleeping and babbling to himself in his crib. 

1:20pm: Run downstairs to change a load of laundry. Clean up the kitchen mess from the kids' lunches. Unload groceries. Check on Tory and Aden; they're both asleep.

2:00pm: Make myself a turkey and cheese sandwich for lunch with some Cheetos. Finally sit down to eat my sandwich on the three-season porch. It's my very favorite spot to spend time in our house. There's a comforting, familiar smell about it that makes me feel so at home. I can't explain; I just love it. 

It's a plastic toy jungle out here. The kids love the porch just as much as I do.

Sometimes I sit out on the porch and listen to Pandora, but today I enjoy the quiet. I start to upload photos for this post to my computer and text back and forth with Andi's dad about the 60th birthday postcards I've arranged to have sent to Andi's mom for her birthday. I'm giddy with excitement to hear Janie's reaction! Only eat half my sandwich. I hardly have an appetite after I stopped nursing Aden.

2:40pm: Tory cries out from her bedroom. I go into her room to retrieve her and bring her back to the three-season porch with me. She snuggles on my lap and tells me she's sorry for crying out, that she tried to roll over and go back to sleep but couldn't. I'm glad we're getting through to her about staying in her own bed, but it also breaks my heart that she thinks she can't call out for us. I mean, of course we're here if she needs us, but I also want to her to learn how to soothe herself to sleep instead of calling out for us all the time. Sigh. Oh, parenting....

I turn the television to Mickey Mouse and get Tory some crackers for a snack while I start drafting this DITL post.

3:30pm: Aden's awake; Tory and I listen to him babbling from his crib on the baby monitor. Tory runs to his room to greet him and by the time I get there (five seconds later) she's in his crib with him. The little monkey! 

Blurry with excitement

I change diapers on both kids and load them up to run a few more errands. I tell Tory we're going to pick up some photos and she says, "at Walgreens?" Smart cookie. How does she know that?

Tory shares her baby doll with Aden.
Don't be mad, buddy, she means well.

3:45pm: Drive to Walgreens. Selfie pic at a stop light when I realize I haven't taken one photo of myself today.

I unload the kids out of the car and walk into Walgreens. Every time I pick up photos here I wish they had a drive-thru for photo orders. It's such a pain to unload both kids and haul them inside the store for one measly packet of photos. The cashier at Walgreens says to me regarding Aden, "he's a good eater!" I never know how to take these comments -- does he look like a fat baby? just healthy? I smile and decide to take it as a compliment. It's true at 19 1/2 pounds + the car seat, Aden's no small load to carry.

4:00pm: Next stop: our suburb's farmer's market. It's become a Wednesday ritual this summer to stop by the farmer's market after nap time and treat Tory to a berry smoothie. The farmer's market is BUSY today and there's tons of fresh produce. I'm bummed when I realize I could've purchased most of my veggies for weekend meals here vs. at Target this morning. There's lots of cucumbers, bell peppers, sweet corn, lettuce, potatoes and flowers. Oh well. That's the trouble with farmer's markets sometimes. You never know what they'll have and sometimes I can't wait to find out.   

4:30pm: Final stop: Lund's for some specialty grocery items like salmon, shrimp and ginger I couldn't find elsewhere. Aden is fussing in the backseat because he's hungry and I didn't bring a bottle with me to feed him. It's probably a disaster to even go into the store, but I'm here already and not turning back now.

I rush through the store to find the last remaining items on my grocery list and find everything but croissants. Guess we'll have to make due this weekend. In the produce section, Tory drops her smoothie on the ground and the bottom breaks out of the Styrofoam cup. Pink smoothie spills out onto the floor. Luckily, we're near the olive bar so I fashion a make-shift smoothie cup from a plastic container. I catch a few dirty looks from customers as Tory's darting around the aisles and Aden's fussing from his car seat. Guess they don't see many kids in the fancy grocery stores in town.

On the way home, I receive a text from Andi summarizing the quantity of salmon I should purchase for our cabin company this weekend. I didn't get enough, but I'm not going back now as Aden's in full meltdown mode now. I ask Andi to stop by the grocery store on his way home from work to pick up croissants and more salmon.

5:15pm: Now at home, I unload the kids and groceries. Tory says she's not hungry (not surprising considering she ate half of a giant berry smoothie). I feed Aden pureed peas in an attempt to make him happy (they're his favorite) and he gobbles down the entire baby food container.

5:30pm: Aden's still having a fit after dinner, so I pour a tall glass of wine for me and put the kids in the bathtub. Baths are always an excellent time-killer in the evenings and sure to cure even the crankiest kiddo. I draw a bath and put Aden in the plastic baby tub and Tory in the larger part of the tub. Tory asks me to chant Humpty Dumpty a million times over while she flips toys off the side of the tub. Aden makes a giant water mess splashing like a mad man. But! They're both happy and confined in one place and I'm drinking wine, so no worries.   

At some point, Tory tells me she has to potty (progress from her going in the bathtub, which has been the trend as of late) so I rush her onto the toilet and she goes. Big happy dances all around! We're not potty training, but I've been planting the seed in hopes she'll potty-train this fall. 

6:00pm: I dry the kids off and dress them in pajamas. Make a bottle for Aden, feed him and lay him down to sleep around 6:30pm. Typically, I try to keep him awake in the evenings until at least 7:00pm, but he's exhausted tonight and there's no use fighting it. 

6:45pm: Tory claims she's still not hungry, but I make her some dinner anyway because I know she'll be hungry just when it's time for bed. I make her and I cheese quesadillas. She also has a scoop of cottage cheese and I have some chips and salsa with mine, too. "Hey, you forgot sour cream!" Tory says. "And I need more cottage cheese." Geez, boss lady.

7:45pm: I clean up the kitchen and tidy the house. Tory's making a tall tower with letter magnets on the refrigerator door. Looks safe. 

Andi calls and says he just left his office. He confirms he'll stop by the store and grab the last grocery items needed for this weekend at the cabin.

8:00pm: I start Tory's bedtime routine by reading through her sticker chart on the 'fridge. We brush her teeth, read three books and I tuck her into bed. Major stall tactics to avoid sleeping, but I hold strong and avoid sitting next to her bed while she falls asleep. While waiting for her to fall asleep, I throw in another load of laundry downstairs and finish packing my suitcase for the cabin this weekend.

8:15pm: Andi comes home from work. Tory's still awake but laying in bed, so he kisses her good-night. Then Andi makes himself a martini in the kitchen. Long day? Guess so.

8:30pm: Andi hauls the trash cans to the end of the drive-way for pick-up tomorrow and gets the mail -- his two standard chores when he returns home from work.  He brings a turkey dinner meal from the grocery store deli counter along with his martini to bed and we curl up to watch House Hunters International. Tory's still not asleep, but I refuse to go into her room. We listen to her talking to herself in bed. Andi and I talk and laugh about the TV episodes we're watching. 

9:00pm: Suddenly, I can barely keep my eyes open. I roll over and go to sleep and I think Andi joins me shortly afterwards. 

11:00pm: Aden wakes up, so I make him a bottle, feed him and put him back to sleep in his crib. Back in bed within 10 or 15 minutes. 

Good night!


Click over to Navigating the Mothership's blog to read other posts in the DITL series. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cabin Weekend with Friends

Peeking out from under a massive pile of laundry to blog about our recent cabin weekend with two of my best girlfriends -- Ashley and Val. I've told the story of how Ashley, Val and I met at various points in our lives but in a nutshell, Ashley and I are childhood friends and Ashley and Val met in college. When Val moved to the Twin Cities several years ago, Ashley connected Val and I together and the rest is history ... we've all been friends ever since.

This is the third summer we've met at Andi and I's Wisconsin lake cabin to hang out, drink adult beverages, boat and reconnect. Quite a few little ones have been added to the mix in three short years. There's now six kids and counting including Kasen (3), Tory (2), Linden (2), Easton (1), Aden (8 months) and Lucy (3 months). This was the first year we shared a drink together because none of us were pregnant for once!

So to recap: Last Thursday afternoon, Tory, Aden and I flew from Lincoln to Minneapolis after visiting my Nebraska family for a week. Andi picked us up at the airport and we drove straight to our lake cabin. Our kitchen and bar area cabinets were painted earlier in the week, so Andi and I were anxious to see them before our friends arrived. We squeezed in a quick sunset pontoon ride Thursday night, put the kids to bed and set to work cleaning up the renovation mess. (Can't wait to do an official post about the cabin updates -- we really love how everything's coming along!)

Tory: "Dad, I want to be captain."

Aden's smile is infectious. Love this boy so much!

Val, Ashley and their families arrived at the cabin mid-afternoon on Friday. The weather was warmish (cooler than I prefer but likely fine for everyone else) so we spent the remainder of Friday and most of Saturday hanging around the back yard, lounging on the patio deck and letting the kids play together. It was a trip watching Tory and Easton (Ashley's son) play together. Ashley and I became friends around Age 5 I think (kindergarten?) so not too far away from our kids' ages now. Life is so crazy wonderful sometimes.

Aden and Easton

Tory and Easton

We've had a ridiculously gusty south wind almost every weekend at the lake this summer. It probably isn't a big deal in town somewhere, but the wind whips right across the lake and into our backyard. (First world problems, I know.) Anyway, it was a bit too cold to get into the water on Saturday so instead we went for a pontoon boat ride around the lake, stuffed our faces full of delicious food and just hung out. Good company makes everything better.

Kitchen reno sneak peek!

Tory: "We're just relaxin'."

For almost every nap and bedtime, we were successful in getting all six kids to sleep at the same time! That made for an awesome hour and a half every afternoon and an evening bonfire Friday night. The number of baby monitors glowing in the nighttime darkness pretty much sums up our cabin lifestyle these days.

Ash and Easton during a pontoon boat ride

Another delicious shrimp boil Saturday night for dinner

Andi took the three oldest kids (ages 2 and 3) for a canoe ride. Let's just say it was miracle they all stayed dry.

The girls snuck away for a morning workout sans kiddos!
Seriously, we just hung out so there's not much of a story to tell ... but the photos are too cute not to share.
Suddenly looking SO THREE (one more month!)



We took a morning walk with all the kids Sunday morning. It was fun seeing them run and play together so care-free. I think we all came home with a million mosquito bites as a reward for our time spent in nature.

Love this photo of Kasen running without his feet even touching the ground. All boy, for sure.

The Three Amigos: Tory, Linden and Kasen

Sunday was our last day at the cabin so we all said, "the hell with it, let's get in the lake." The wind was still super breezy but the actual air temperature was warmer that day. The kids had a blast building sand castles on the beach and swimming in the water. The adults even had some lounge time on floaties during afternoon nap time.

Three friends and all our babies

It's always sad to say good-bye to great friends, but I'm thankful for any time we're able to spend together. Next year's return to the lake cabin already seems so far away so we'll rely on phone calls and texts like we always do, and hope for a reason to get the gang together again.