Thursday, July 22, 2010

A little slice of a sunny heaven...

Last week I either turned crazy or super brave. My very persuasive sister-in-law Annie convinced me that it wouldn't be too scary or too long to drive six kids four and half hours to the lake by myself. Our family has had the awesome privileged of going to Lake Cavanaugh (just north of Seattle) for the past several years. Annie's grandparents own the cabin and have allowed us to make some great memories and family bonding time each summer as we all meet there for a few days.

This summer the calendar just wasn't going to allow us to join the family at the lake. Between needing to work and all of our other family stuff going on Birch wasn't going to be able to get the time off of work to come up for a long weekend. I had just told the kids the week before that we were not going to be able to go this year and boy did I hear some major booing. A couple of days later Annie called and suggested that we caravan together to the lake--you know two moms and eleven kids busting a move. Birch's sister Blayre said that she would drive Birch up Friday night to the lake after work so that way I didn't have to drive home all by myself.

So Wednesday morning last week I loaded up a whole heck of a lot of food, some swimsuits, and a bunch of excited kids, and one scared mom and hit the road. Surprisingly I only hyperventilated a couple of times on my way to Seattle when I was squished between the road mediums and a big semi truck. Following Annie made a huge difference and gave me the extra confidence that I needed (remember this would be my fourth time in the past two years driving the freeway).

We arrived at the lake late afternoon. The kids helped unload the car for about twenty seconds (until they found their swimsuits) and then they all ran to lake. This year lasso golf was introduced to the family. Alex loved playing with his uncles. Chloe loved digging in the rocky sand, going on the boat, eating her food outside...but most of all she loved buckling up ALL the life jackets that she found laying around. Every little bit she would come to me dragging a couple of life jackets saying, "Buck Buck." Meaning, "can you please unbuckle these life jackets so I can buckled them over and over and over again." This year it seemed that all the neighboring cabins has dogs with them. Chloe was in heaven!!! She was always outside calling to a dog and then loved throwing sticks or tennis balls for them to fetch. Alysee was a little fish this year. She loved spending every waking minute with her cousin Malia. Alysee also LOVED going in the boat this year. She spent hours tubing with all her cousins. Two years ago Alex tried unsuccessfully to water ski. He decided that this was the year. Logan, Birch's brother took Alex out to give him some tips. First try...BAM, Alex was up and loving it!!! Here's the proud first time waterskiier. These old skis have a rope between them which I think really helped him pop up and have such a great experience. Alysee posing in the beloved hot tub. The kids actually spent a lot more time in the lake this year than the hot tub (don't get me wrong they spent HOURS in the hot tub too). Alex LOVED tubing this year! All the younger cousins wanted a turn to ride with him. Coop had been SO excited to be at the lake. The first night we were there and I put him to bed he told me that he thought he was sick. I didn't really pay attention to him since he had been playing so hard all day. But sure enough by the next morning he had a fever and was pretty lethargic. He perked up by lunch time and enjoyed playing most of the day. The second morning he felt sick he actually woke up for breakfast and then crawled back in bed until 11:45 am. CRAZY!!! I felt sad for him since he had been so anxious to be at the lake and then couldn't fully enjoy his time. Luckily his illness only last a couple of days and he really lived it up the rest of the time. I thought this was so cute how Nate was holding Chloe's hand on her first time on the boat. He didn't want her to be scared. Too much sun and water time?? about relaxing and watching a mid day movie. Truly spoiled!!! Alex really seemed to want to be more grown up on this trip...water skiing, crazy tubing, baby is growing up. This little wet suit/floaty thing looks so funny on Chloe. As usual all the kids claimed a wet suit right when we got to the lake and would lay it out on the floor next to their bed each night. Nate was really into jumping off the dock this year. Nate also spent a lot of time tubing--kind of funny because from his facial expressions you could never tell that he was having fun. Tyler was a crazy tuber!!! Alex, cousin Addy, Nate, and Tyler going for a little paddle boat ride. Finally late Friday night Birch arrived to the was so nice to be together as a family. Birch and Tyler had a rockin' waverunner ride. Two lovebirds together again! (Yes, my lips had begun to swell at this time and yes, I added red to my hair.) When not fixing food for the tribe, you could find me laying on the lounge chair reading. I read a great book by one of my new favorite authors, Karen Kingsbury. Alex was SO EXCITED to show Birch that he could now water ski. I love this picture of Birch expressing his pride of Alex with his big thumbs up. Coop was scared to do anything around the water this year. He didn't go in the hot tub and refused to go tubing. Finally on the last day we convinced him to go with daddy on a really slow ride. We sure loaded up those tubes! Coop liked his ride okay but he was happy to get back on the boat. I was proud of him for trying. This is where Coop would choose to be all day--in the boat feeling the cool water on his fingertips. Can't go to the lake with all the brothers without playing "Jump off the dock and try to catch a football or frisbee" game. It seems to entertain these boys/daddy's for hours. This was Alex's first year joining in on the game.

We're all getting our second set of skin right now after sunburning our bodies. It felt so good to really get some good sunshine, though.

Thanks Annie for encouraging me to be so brave!! We all had such a great time and can't wait until next year!


emily a. said...

looks like a heavenly weekend to me!

laura said...

Wow, looks like so much fun. I am proud of you Sara for making the trip! Definitely worth it I think.

Matt said...

I've always been jealous of this place....what an awesome vacation!

Annie Ditto said...

Thanks for coming Sara!!!!! It was so much fun! I'm so proud of you for driving all by yourself :)