We spent six glorious days at the lake cabin for the Fourth of July holiday this year. Tory, Aden and I drove to the cabin on Wednesday (July 1) and Andi joined us later on Thursday (July 2). Our friends Nick and Julie arrived Friday afternoon (July 3) with their boys Joel (age 8) and Alex (age 5). We spent our weekend days swimming in the lake for hours, going for boat rides, BBQ-ing and playing board games. It was the best.
Friday night, we boated over to our cabin neighbors and friends Joe and Lisa's place for a beer. Nick is the person who connected Andi to renting a cabin (Joe's) on Pipe Lake way back when, so those two go back years. Also: dropping by for an unexpected visit is one of my favorite things about cabin life. Everyone's welcome, anytime; it's such a great community to be apart of.
Tory loved playing bean bag toss, and didn't mind at all if she had to play by herself. Girl had pretty good aim, too ... once we moved the boards closer together.
Friday evening ended with a bonfire and s'mores at our place. This might've been Aden's first bonfire and taste of s'mores - I'm not sure? Spoiler alert: I didn't win any parenting awards for letting Tory and Aden stay up past their bedtimes on this night. [insert emoji for eyes bugging out of my flippin' head - omg]. I'd pay for it big-time the next morning.
Tory was "one of the boys" all weekend long. She held her own while fishing and filled their ears full of information about fish in the lake (said in Tory's cute little voice: "Norverns [northern fish] are boys; sunnies are gouels [girls]," which isn't exactly true but is adorable hearing her confidence on the matter. Tory also kept busy catching bugs with Joel and playing Official Rule Keeper to Alex all weekend as she chased him around. Three going on 13, that one.
Saturday (July 4), our group spent the morning tubing on the lake before boat traffic got too busy. For some reason, Tory is very apprehensive about swimming in the water this summer (even though last year she loved it - go figure), but fortunately was game to go tubing with Andi. It took her a few minutes to enjoy herself and Andi said she gave him an earful the whole time, but she ended up having a blast.
Joel and Alex went tubing together, too, and I had all kinds of mama-bear emotions as I watched my friend Julie send her boys off into the water by themselves. I'm going to blink and one day it'll be time to send Tory and Aden onto a tube behind a boat without Andi or I to accompany them -- eek! So fun and scary, all at the same time.
Later that evening, Joe and Lisa invited us back to their place for a big Fourth of July BBQ Bash. We feasted on a delicious spread of brats, chips, salads and desserts and listened to live music. The weather was gorgeous well into the night, so the kids swam in the lake and played on the beach until the sun went down. I'm thankful for peer pressure in this instance as Tory was right there with the rest of the kids playing in the water.
More fun in the lake Sunday morning (July 6) before our friends departed home. After they left, Andi, Tory, Aden and I enjoyed a boat ride around the lake together, then decided to take the Ranger UTV for a drive through the countryside. We stopped for a bit to hunt bugs and sling-shot rocks at a nearby lake before heading back to the cabin.
Such a great Fourth of July holiday weekend celebrating our country's freedom with great food, awesome friends and perfect weather. I told Andi over the weekend how fortunate I feel to call this place our second home. Every weekend at the lake feels like a holiday; we're lucky to have found this paradise.