So here goes, I’m going to sum up the rest of the my highlights from the summer in this post. Some have pictures, many do not (you’re probably thankful for that at this point….enough pictures!)
#8 – long long sandy beach. good exercise. great entertainment.
#9 – our old clunker machines. we have tractors and little monteroes and a forever year old boat to get us around up there. we don’t take care of them….and they still last and last and last. we love them….not to death, cause they don’t die….they just barely hold on with black smoke streaming out the back and a check engine light that’s about to burn out cause it’s been on for so many years. this year we had the battery die in nearly ever vehicle at bear lake. partly due to negligence, party to the fact that little 3 year old boys get in the cars and play around leaving all kinds of lights and signals on. Jeff says that it’s due to car karma……we’ve neglected our vehicles for so long that it’s all coming back to get us. quite possible. still, i love them. and the kids love that they can pile into a car full of sand without seatbelts to drive up and down the beach. i think our record is 16 people piled in or on one of those little Monteros.
#10 – brothers. this year, Noah and Eli and their families were able to spend a lot more of July up there with us. it was so great to have them around. I’m not sure if there are funnier, more pleasant people to be around than my five brothers.
#11 – baptisms. my little niece Gracie and my nephew Isaac got baptized in the lake the day after Charity got home. I love witnessing this and remembering my own baptism in that very lake when I was eight.
#27 – The Annual Eyrealm Doubles Tournament. Sadly Jeff and I didn’t make it to the finals this year. I guess I have to be pregnant to get that far….my belly is our good luck charm. Man, it’s fun to play with these people though.
#109 – the Shumway’s room. One of the most surprising things I love about Bear Lake is that I get to share a room with my kids. Emmeline has her own little closet to sleep in and Hazel and Charlie sleep on these little mats on the floor. I love that I get to watch them sleep….they’re always all skewampus on their beds….exhausted from their days of fun. Before bed we have a Bear Lake tradition of telling “Ruby and Bump” stories. Ruby and Bump are their “Mirrorland Friends.” (The kids they see when they look in the mirror.) Ruby and Bump are just like Hazel and Charlie, only they are always model children in almost every way…..they do wind up in a lot of trouble sometimes because they have so many crazy adventures. They are pretty lame stories, I have to admit, but the kids eat them up…..and I love being able to weave in little lessons that I think they need to hear through Ruby and Bumps adventures…..my kids seem to internalize lessons from these characters much more easily than if they come from their mean old mom.
#898 – water skiing. i will never cease to be in love with the feeling of skiing on a glassy lake. it feels like flying. and my kids are super impressed with me when I do it. i love impressing my kids. #1001 – jumping pictures. it’s a tradition.
#2556 – beach bonfires and s’mores. this year we were there for the forth….and I’ll tell you what, they had fabulous fireworks. i mean, big serious bucks kind of fire works…..and they were right by us. The kids loved it, until a huge (perfectly in time for bed) sand storm came up and ended our little party.
#3999 – good friends. Amy, my BFF since I was 3 years old comes up each year. There’s nothing like a good old true friend. My good friend Jenn and kids also came up….Jenn, I need you to send me a picture!
#28883988 – time to just BE with my kids. not do anything….just be. #2909890 – working out with my sisters. Shawni got us all (and I mean EVERYONE) going on P90X. We took a picture the day we all did yoga together. I wish those P90X guys could watch us “Bring It” with 18 little kids under our toes….they’d be impressed. #
# 8934806908 – playing boggle and speed scrabble late into the night
#9058906980 – making and eating great food together – though this is quite challenging and chaotic and hot at times too.
#10003858938- - reading books with the kids
#30003947289 – the view of the lake from the lighthouse. it should be one of the wonders of the natural world. it changes by the moment, everyday greeting you with new undiscovered beauty.
#50505689728 – pedicures and foot massages at night
#70980390840 – long talks late into the night with sisters….though I think we had way too few of these this year.
#90990809800 – the water. Bear Lake has amazingly good tasting water. I crave it all winter long.
# 20 gazillion – time away from every day life. enough time away to miss and be grateful for the life that before the trip felt mundane and horrible. new perspectives. new energy. new inspiration.
I love Bear Lake (in case you couldn’t tell).