Friday, July 19, 2013

A Photo Journal of My Tribe and Michigan

This week we got back from 10 glorious days of a much needed vacation and rest. Every 2 years, the Weston clan (my parents, my brother and his family, and our family) gets together at a vacation spot to enjoy time away and each other. For those of you with jaws dropping right now, I assure you this works for our us. I'm blessed with family that loves well (even when we're imperfect) and sincerely loves to be together.

This year, we all headed north to Northern Michigan. We rented a vacation home overlooking the ski slopes in Harbor Springs and just a few minutes from Lake Michigan. Days were spent with day trips, beaches, and hiking and evenings were full of laughter, good food, and relaxing in the hot tub on the porch. 

Day 1: July 4th was spent ALL day in the van as we headed to Michigan.

Day 2: Traveled to see some of Jamy's family and spent the evening shooting off fireworks with cousins

A stop on the way to Jamy's grandfather's farm
Day 3: Arrived to our cottage in Harbor Springs

Just before vacation Tim broke his arm. Golf plans for the guys were cancelled. 

Day 4: Harbor Springs picnic lakeside as well as a stop to Tom's Moms Cookies

Jackson and Papa

Day 5: Rainy day spent playing board games, watching movies, and shopping in Petoskey

Day 6: Took a ferry to Mackinac Island with carriage rides, a visit to the fort, lunch on the lake, and a visit to the Grand Hotel

No vehicles are allowed on the island so carriages and bikes are the forms of commute
With Nonny and Papa at Fort Mackinac 
At the Grand Hotel

Day 7: Horseback riding for the girls, hiking for the boys, and swimming at the beach

Isabelle and Dakota

Day 8: Hiked to the lake with the family for a picnic lunch

Day 9: Traveled through Wisconsin and stayed with some amazing friends

Day 10: HOME

A lot has happened in our family in the last two years. Tim and Meg added to their family (side note, because they're fostering I had to leave lots of our family pics out for confidentiality - but know this Auntie took lots of pictures of their little guy). Jamy and I created a little excitement of our own. It's been interesting to watch how the hurt in our own family has crept into our extended family. There's been hard conversations, tears, repentance, and forgiveness. There's been anger and sadness. Celebration and rejoicing. And support like you wouldn't believe. It's been messy to live in such transparency and dysfunction and blessing all at once.

But it's been good. I've loved watching our extended family grow during this time. Jamy and I have been good at pushing back on the idea of a perfect family. We've learned how to love each other stronger, communicate better, and walk with each other when it's hard.

Lessons learned:
  1. Hot tubs are mini pools for kids (just no diving).
  2. I miss real lakes and beaches in Missouri.
  3. Not many things scare my husband. But we can add 5 miles of bridge across a lake to the short list.
  4. Tom's Moms Cookies should be outlawed.
  5. You can sneak almost anyone into The Grand Hotel if you're bold enough (until your parents bust you).
  6. Dating when you're grandparents is still a good thing.
  7. A trail lakeside makes me run faster.
  8. A broken arm won't keep my brother from playing wiffle ball.
  9. The inventor of DVD players for minivans should win a Nobel Peace Prize.
  10. My family is still amazing.

Lots of memories made. 

2300+ miles. Totally worth it.

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