Vacation and into July...

On the evening of the 2nd we headed North to our favorite spot along the west shore of Lake Michigan. A few days with some of my sisters and their families and a couple days with just my parents and then some days with just us. It was really nice. I felt a little sad some of my siblings couldn't stay longer and that Betsy's family was absent...I think coming out of months of quarantine didn't make me as anxious for time with just us, but it was nice nonetheless. 

Summer days are long. So much daylight and time to fill with the kids. Recently we've hit that point in summer where I'm not sad about a rainy or cloudy day and excuse to be inside.
I'm definitely in homeschool planning mode and looking ahead. It's strange not to be getting class lists or to be caring about the school's plan for re-entry. I'm glad though.

I've been thinking about control lately. How this year is such a good example of how little control we really have. We often have a false sense of having things under control which inevitably gets stripped from us at some point. Also, we tend to do poorly at the things we actually can control, such as how and when we engage on social media or what we eat or how we spend our free time.

A daily thought I have right now in regard to the happenings in our country is: why is everyone so angry? I'm consistently baffled by how outraged people get over the dumbest things. Then I think about the toll that it has to take on mental health to always be mad about something.

A bright spot the past couple weeks has been a small group of women meeting at my house to talk about the book Be The Bridge by Latasha Morrison. The discussion has been rich and I've been so encouraged to sit among women who want to humbly listen and learn and repent.

On to the pictures...






















Full-swing Summer


Today watching "coffee talk" from SmartHer News (love her and how she presents the facts) she said a couple things I've been thinking about...

One was that as pediatricians look back to Dec/Jan there were some strange sicknesses with kids and apparently there's some discussion of COVID-19 being here earlier than we thought. I have been wondering this as some people we knew had a bad cough/respiratory illness in February that in hindsight seems a lot like Covid. I'm convinced (as a person with no medical training) that more of us have had it than we think. But of course I could be totally wrong about that.

Another thing she talked about was Trump's first rally and his main points about if the democrats win we can expect "anarchy, loss of freedom, loss of guns, and higher taxes". She mentioned that White, Suburban women are one of the key groups (just like in 2016) to impact this election. Realistically, Indiana is never a huge factor in the election, so I'm not sure how much this applies to me, but it made me think as I am in the demographic of white/suburban/woman. Trump's message seemed mostly to me about instilling fear in people that if he doesn't get re-elected we can expect "total anarchy". He must think white, suburban women are prone to fear...oh wait... I for one will not be giving into his scare tactics.

This fear thing is so real. I think it's the number one reason white women don't want to engage in the race discussion. So much talk about "losing our freedoms"...this is fear-based. Fear that somehow this comfortable American Christian life we've created for ourselves won't be quite as easy for us if the playing field is leveled. That's a harsh observation but I really believe it's playing a huge part.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on anything I just said...regardless of if you agree.

So, summer...

Man, these days are long. So fun and full and long. We've been getting in lots of pool time, splash pads, popsicles, parks, etc. Some days the boys are outside before 8 am and since it isn't dark until 10...that's quite a bit of space to fill.


My two peony bushes were fantastic. I only wish they lasted longer.


After a long time searching we finally bought an outdoor dining set, but are now returning the poorly made chairs. Sigh.




My parents took the boys for a couple days so I could finish painting Soren's room and we also needed a babysitter for some friend plans. An unexpected gift was kayaking with 3 of my favorite friends for a couple hours on a perfect 70 degree day. 



Soren got his first real haircut which aged him like 6 months overnight. I felt sad, but he's still v cute.
The older boys are still very into making their own breakfasts...


This past Saturday was the summer solstice. We always celebrate with the standard menu of charcuterie, wine, and whiskey. Devin smoked trout which was a big hit. John and Emily joined us - it's always fun and easy to be with them.


And then Father's Day! Devin golfed with John and Matt in the morning, took the boys to the pool, smoked some ribs, and we all ate too much. I don't say Devin is a great dad out of obligation...he really is very kind and thoughtful when it comes to the boys. They adore him for good reason.


Happy June! The days get shorter from here on out!

First Lake Trip for 2020




We finished up school and headed to Pentwater for the first time this year. May in northern Michigan is pretty unpredictable weather-wise so we were pleasantly surprised to have warmth and sun most of the time! What a gift. The air was crisp and fresh and we were all so happy to be back.

We were headed for the beach one day and I looked in the mirror and thought "wow, I look like a mom". I don't know why, it just kind of struck me funny that day.






So fun to adventure around the dunes with the boys! There were also lots of fishing adventures back at the house with dad and Devin. Soren loves my dad so much and is often found following him around.



Ira catching this large bass on his little plastic pole was a highlight of the trip. Such surprise and joy!




Henrik continues his fishing obsession and spends a surprising amount of hours with a pole in his hand. He knows the names of all the various baits lures and other fishing lingo. I love this for him.






Soren was a handful, but a fun one. He has no fear and thinks he can do whatever his brothers do. I finally gave him a broken pole and tied a hook-less bait to the end which entertained him for quite so time without me having to worry about a hook to his face. He only fell off the dock once the whole trip which is actually kind of a miracle.



Probably my biggest highlight was also the boy's highlight. They mastered the paddle boat themselves and suddenly had new independence to go out fishing on their own. They were so cute loading up their tackle and poles and heading out. They worked well together and I just felt so. proud. I don't know why, but this new thing that was helping them build confidence while having fun just warmed my heart so much.


We weren't up there alone but I'm sad to say I mostly just photographed my kids. There were some fun evening games, Kaitlin and Bella serenading us on the dock and beach, and good conversations. I also did quite a bit of running and logged about 15 miles in the 5 days we were there. 

I did catch sweet Truman reading to Soren first thing in the morning. My boys have some really amazing cousins to look up to!