Thursday, August 25, 2016

Nebraska Friends at the Lake

It's become a tradition to have my best friend Ashley and her family visit us at the lake every summer. Ashley and her husband Neal first came to our cabin five years ago when they were in town for my baby shower (I was pregnant with Tory then!), and they've made it back to see us nearly every summer since then.

This year, Ashley and Neal picked the last weekend of July for their annual trek to Wisconsin. We all crossed our fingers and toes for great weather -- which is usually a sure bet that time of year -- and hoped for lots of time in the sunshine and water.

Our mutual friend Val and her family also spent the weekend with us. We've grown into quite the crew in the last five years -- six adults, seven kids (with one more on the way!) and three dogs all together. It was a full house, and so much fun.

Ashley, Neal and their kiddos Easton and Harper arrived to the lake on Friday morning and Val and her kids (Kasen, Linden and Lucy) arrived shortly afterwards. The weather was B-E-A-UTIFUL that day, and we soaked up every single minute outdoors. The kids built sandcastles, took jet-ski rides with Andi, swam in the lake and fished from the dock while the grown-ups lounged on floaties in the water with adult beverages in hand. Summer at its finest!

I love what great friends our kids have become. There's something mind-blowingly awesome about watching your kids play with your childhood best friends' kids. The best! They might not see each other much, but everyone seems to pick up right where they left off last time.

For dinner Friday night, Andi grilled us a fabulously fancy (yet simple!) dinner of caprese chicken with balsamic drizzle, asparagus and salad. Bonus! It almost felt like a kid-free dinner as the kiddos ran wild in the cabin backyard while the adults ate together on the deck. A s'mores party was mandatory for our after-dinner dessert.

A storm rolled in Saturday morning, so we squeezed in some time down by the lake and a quick boat ride before retreating indoors. Aden, Lucy, Harper and Easton napped in the afternoon while the Bigs snuggled up in our master bedroom watching Netflix.

Still wet and cool later that evening, we decided to take the kids bowling in Turtle Lake for something to occupy our time. None of us could remember the last time we bowled - it sounded fun, right?


My goodness! Seven kids under the age of five + a packed bowling alley on a Saturday night = a recipe for disaster. There were kids everywhere - our kids! - it was difficult keeping track of everyone. Aden ended up behind the bar at one point, multiple kids invaded the sacred bowling space of neighboring lanes, Linden made it into the designated smoker's room, and yeah ... the last frame of the game couldn't have come any sooner. The adults were happy to return to the lake where our kids could run wild in the comforts of our own environment.


Fabulous summer weather returned on Sunday, and our crew spent the entire day at the lake. More fishing, more jet-skiing, more hanging out together. It was the perfect end to the perfect weekend with friends.

Until next year!

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