New Year's Eve, Andi and I left the kids with Andi's mom and drove the 1 1/2 hours to the lake cabin. We got in around 8pm, dropped our bags and headed straight to the neighbor's cabin for an outdoor NYE celebration. Our friends Joe and Lisa made an ice bar on the lake the weekend prior and invited several friends on the lake over to ring in the new year. Celebrating the beginning of 2015 on the ice was just as fun and crazy as it sounds! No need to fret over what to wear on New Year's Eve; Andi and I dressed in as many layers as possible because it was 10 degrees outside. We all stood around a bonfire on the ice and talked, bellied up to the ice bar for a shot or two, and had a great night together.
That's Andi and I there - under all those winter weather clothes...
Everclear-soaked cherries anyone?
Andi and I capped off the night with 30 minutes in the sauna to warm our bodies up from the chill of the outdoors. The perfect ending to a great night.
We bought a new ice house earlier in the week, so on Thursday (New Year's Day) Andi and I pulled it onto nearby Staples Lake for its inaugural day on the ice. We didn't catch many fish that day, but had an awesome time together eating burgers from a nearby bar & grill, and hanging with our cabin neighbors who stopped by the fish house for a visit.
Early Friday morning, I received a text message from our babysitter (the one whom I'd arranged to watch Tory and Aden the second half of the weekend) saying she was feeling ill. A big wrench thrown in Andi and I's kid-free holiday weekend; luckily we were only 1 1/2 hours away at the cabin. Andi's mom Janie offered to drive the kids up to the lake so Andi and I could still go on the ice fishing adventure we'd arranged that day in Hayward, WI. So, with the kids in route to the cabin Andi and I drove an hour North to Nelson Lake. We fished throughout the afternoon for sunfish and crappies in very windy and cold 10 degree weather.
Reunited with Tory and Aden, Andi and I spent the entire day on Saturday out on the lake. Our new ice house is much more accommodating for little kids, giving Tory plenty of room to lay around and watch a television show on her iPad and Aden room to crawl around indoors (we kept all the fishing holes inside the shack closed to play it safe). Andi fished on tip-ups outside the ice house and in between bites, we all played games and built puzzles together.
Tory was made for this lifestyle; she literally cried when it was time to go back to the cabin for the night. Someday soon Andi and Tory can have a sleepover in the ice house; I'll stay back at the cabin with Aden and sleep in our comfy, warm king-size bed.
We've had the perfect beginning to the New Year, and though it wasn't all the relaxing responsibility-free weekend Andi and I'd imagined, it was still pretty great. Here's hoping this year brings much more family togetherness, fun and adventure.