Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lake George 2011

Last weekend, we retreated with some friends up North to Lake George. The four hour drive was well worth the relaxing stay. Not only did we enjoy some time on the water, but also we were able to visit the infamous Mississippi Headwaters in Itasca (something Clay and I had been wanting to do for awhile).

Our friends, Kathryn and Eric were gracious enough to host us. I was giddy over finally being able to say, "We're driving up North to stay at the cabin with some friends this weekend." --if you're from Minnesota, you totally get that. Everyone up here goes to the cabin on the weekend...if you don't own one, you know someone who does. We felt like the lone rangers over here. Now we can officially say we've experience a Minnesota weekend at the cabin :)

Every Thursday night or early Friday afternoon in the summer, Minnesotan's quickly hop in their cars and hit the pavement headed North to relax next to one of the many thousand of lakes here. I've heard that leaving on a Friday afternoon on certain highways/interstates can cause you to sit in standstill traffic for a couple of hours. Luckily, we left late enough on Friday and took a backway to our destination, so we never hit standstill traffic...congestion, yes, but nothing as bad as what could have been. Very thankful to say the least.

Discovering sand :), water skiing, tubing, grilling out, fishing, riding in the boat, wakeboarding, touring the Headwaters, fellowshipping with all summed up to a fabulous weekend.

Clay and I feel as if we have the most incredible group of friends all over the world...some known since childhood and others maybe only for a short time. We have got to be the luckiest people alive. Close to home, we surround ourselves a lot with friends from our Small Group and Young Couples Sunday School Class. Tonight, as I sit here thinking about how to describe these special couples, a quote comes to mind:

"A blessed thing it is for any man or woman to have a friend, one human soul whom we can trust utterly, who knows the best and worst of us, and who loves us in spite of all our faults.”
Charles Kingsley very thankful for our many friends who love us in spite of our faults.

Mike & Susie
(& Watson & Miley)

Ryan & Lindy

The Newlyweds: Mike & Ericka
(it was Ericka's birthday this weekend so we had a fun time celebrating...yes, they are wearing matching colors and yes, Mike actually used a blowtorch to light her birthday cake candles) :)

Eric and Kathryn
(thank ya'll so much for sharing your family's wonderful cabin with us! I do hope this has started an annual tradition! :))

Saturday morning, we headed over to Itasca to visit the Mississippi Headwaters. I can't tell you how excited I was about this. Parker and I actually crossed the river, Cooper dipped his feet in the edge of the cool water, and Clay stood on the rocks with us to take pictures. :)

...a little hesitant at first but towards the end, I got a big grin out of Cooper once feet went all the way in. (see picture towards end of post)

Sunday, Mr. Sunshine came out and it was glorious! We spent the majority of the day on the water or on the beach...hundreds of pictures were taken to help document the day. Here are a few of my favorites:

Ericka was smiling the whole time she was in the water; I loved it!

Lindy is like a pro as soon as she hits the water...she blew everyone away with her moves.

Cooper on his first boat ride

Parker fishing with Mr. Mike (aka Mr. Gooch)

Parker's 1st time to go tubing (this weekend he also got to drive the boat with his daddy, Mr. Ryan and Mr. Eric; if you don't think that made him proud, I don't know what would!)

Our family - Lake George July 2011
Parker (3 1/2) and Cooper (9mos)

Cooper with feet in Mississippi Headwaters

Thanks to each of you for a great weekend!
Next summer...same time, same place?!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

blessed by friends

Since the start of summer, we have been blessed with several opportunities to get together with our friends from church. 2nd Annual Young Couples Cookout at our house in June, Lunch at Chuck E Cheese with Chicago friends, a cookout in July at the Kim's to meet precious Baby Griffin, and a wedding for Mike and Ericka...each time we get together a great time is to be had!

The cool thing about this group is that even as things change and couples move on to different cities, different states, different jobs and even different Sunday School classes we always come back together for more great memories. Thanks to each of you for your friendship; Clay and I feel so blessed to be able to have you as a part of our lives. 

This is my friend, Susie. She is awesome! She drives to work everyday in downtown Minne. She earns extra kudos from me on that note alone. :) See this post and the comments for explanation.

Cooper loves Mr. Mike (Mr. Mike belongs to Mrs. Susie above). All is cool when Mr. Mike is around..."especially when Mr. Mike shares his watermelon with me!"

Where do you go out to eat for lunch with friends that you actually want to be able to carry on a 3 1/2 minute discussion with without interruption from a 3 year old, a 1 1/2 year old, an 8 month old and a 4 week old? That would be Chuck E Cheese! If you're lucky, you might can even get in a 7 minute conversation! ;)

(That actually depends on if your 8 1/2 month old plans his poops to come at the same time and not in between the 4 week old's feedings and sleepy cries, the 3 1/2 year olds trips back and forth to the table to get more Chuck E Cheese tokens for games and the 1 1/2 year olds attempt at trying everything in the play area while carrying around a slice of pizza.)

Jonathan and Lauren, we miss you guys! Hope Chicago is good to you this summer; we'll look forward to seeing ya'll in August for State Fair Food! Yea!

Guys from our Sunday School Class
Summer Cookout at our place - June 2011
Our Small Group at Mike and Ericka's wedding
Congratulations Mike and Ericka! We are so happy for ya'll! It was an honor to attend your beautiful wedding and reception; thank you for including us. Here's to a lifetime of happiness with our spouses and with our dear friends and to "letting our conversations always be full of grace."
You two should have no problem adjusting to married life after seeing and hearing all of our veteran tales these last several months (how to respond when both of you are determined to fold towels a certain--and very different--way, why to stay away from railings on a cruise ship...especially when you're on your honeymoon, and so much more...I'm sure the experience has been more than you ever bargained for! ha! jk...but in all seriousness, at least you know you've got all areas covered if you ever need advice on marriage, kids...that is, if you were crazy enough to ask anyone of us for it. ;)
We love ya'll and wish you the best! Remember to cherish the everyday moments...and to document it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A day of Red, White and Blue.

Red, white and blue. Flag cake. Family. Fireworks. Stars and stripes. USA. Summer. July. BBQ on deck.
Celebrate. Independence.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!

Happy Fourth of July to our Family and Friends!