We did it! The Bear Lake reunion at Ideal Beach with Brian's side of the family was the best one yet. The kids are old enough to do almost everything and Brian and I were prepared this year. Our journey to Bear Lake was not encouraging (I threw up next to the Woods Cross exit - sorry Davis County) and Brian got a speeding ticket in Sardine Canyon, but we still were able to meet everyone at Gossner's in Logan to get all the milk boxes for the kids. The only real photo I got that first night was the family photo. Then I had to shake off the nausea to save our trip.
I would change a few things, but you can see everyone's faces and I have to let it go now. (Brighton wasn't looking at the camera in any of the photos. She was probably distracted by all my running back and forth.)
Wednesday was our first day at the lake. We rented wave runners and parked ourselves in a nice open spot. The water was warm, but the day was COLD. When the kids weren't in the water, they were shivering and wanting to be wrapped up and held.
Jed holding Brighton
A word about my swimsuit - it's swim tights with a long sleeved rash guard top. It's my new favorite thing in the whole world. Colin was willing to ride with Mommy or Daddy on the wave runner, but Emil only went for a ride with me. A very short ride. Stinkers gotta stink!
Abby rented a paddle board and let Emil cruise to shore on it.
Colin fell asleep in Grandma's arms. Cozy.
Nate didn't come out of the water for any reason. Not even to eat a sandwich. :)
Brian threw a ball straight up for the kids to catch, but it mostly splashed instead.
Bridget is always up for everything at Bear Lake. She took many rides with Daddy on the wave runner.
We came home in the late afternoon and kept the kids awake by doing a quick craft (I bought some easy crafts from Michael's anticipating the late afternoon slump) while we waited for dinner. That night Brian and I finally got to play Canasta at Bear Lake! It's been years. We got side-by-side condos this year instead of booking the house at Ideal Beach. So much better! Everyone was close enough to easily eat meals together and have nightly card games. We lost every night, but it was still fun.
On Thursday we started the day slowly and I got to hang out with Emil by himself for a little while. My favorite thing about this year at Bear Lake was the individual time I got to spend with each of the kids. They're all so much fun. :) Emil and I went to play mini golf. He is terrible at it.
Good thing we weren't keeping score.
Jake and Jed were behind us with Brighton for a little while. I think Brighton tired of golf after half the game and they left.
Brian, Bridget, and Colin came when Emil and I were almost done. (See - there's Jake and Jed and Brighton leaving in the background.)
I don't know what Bridget is doing, but she's not reacting to a hole-in-one.
We went to LaBeau's at the perfect time for onion rings and raspberry shakes. The perfect time because we didn't have to wait in a long line and there were less people to see the boys perform The Bum Bum Dance on the porch of the shop by LaBeau's. (I'm glad to see new eating places in Garden City. Maybe some competition will convince LaBeau's to move their trash bins farther away from the building. P.U.)
After that small lunch, we came back for the mandatory two and a half hours at the pool. Brian is a hero for standing in the pool and catching the boys every time they came down the rickety slide. It was the least busy I've ever seen that pool, so we can be glad of that. And the boys weren't just stepping off the edge into the pool like they had no idea what would happen the way they did last year. We left with the kids kicking and screaming so that we could get back and make dinner - it was our night. :) We made spaghetti. Nate declared our dinner a "winner." (We often saw Nate wandering around talking on the phone. Brian thought he was pretending, but we found out he knows how to call his Grandma Carol and so he does every chance he gets. Grandma Carol got a play-by-play of our Bear Lake vacation. Hahahaha!) After dinner it was time for the Frisbee Football Game. The spectators set up chairs to watch. Denise got stung on the nose right before she sat down, so that is the look of concern in the first photo.
I brought down some bubbles for the little kids to blow. Emil slowly poured his out (grrrr), but the other kids had a great time. That's Aiden (Linzy and Nick's little boy) with Colin.
It's hard to get photos of the frisbee game. Emil is in danger in this photo.
Now I think it's Jed that's in danger.
On Friday we went to the lake again. Brian and I opted out of the waver runner rental and got a kayak. Grandma and Grandpa rented the trampoline again and it ended up being plenty for our kids to do. Friday was much warmer - thank goodness. We got the kids to the trampoline and Emil thought he'd be cool and jump off like the big kids. The cold water took his breath away and he started to have a little asthma attack. He thought his life jacket was too tight and he wanted his swim shirt off. I held him while he calmed down. He told me he wanted "my blankie and my brother." Awww. Emil never admits that he loves Colin, so that warmed my heart. Soon enough Emil was back in the game and having fun.
Jake and Jed, white boys, got very sunburned on our first day at the lake, so this was Jake's ensemble for the second day.
Colin was in high demand as the captain of the kayak. I was lucky to get to ride with him.
And of course, this again.
And this. (Can you see Jed's sun bonnet? He's wearing tall black socks as well.)
This cute lady is going on a mission in a few weeks. :) Colin let her navigate his ship a few times. Afterward he asked me to remind him of her name. "Janessa." "Fanessa. Fanessa. Fanessa." He repeated it so he wouldn't forget. :) "Is she your friend?" "Yes. And she's my niece."
I don't know what happened to the settings on my camera, but I kinda like this one.
I like this one, too. Sisters! Nicolette and Abby. I believe Nicolette was dumped into the water soon after I took this photo.
When we started packing up and Brian and I were on the shore at the same time, my dear high school friend, Jon Moody, realized that it was me. He and his family were set up right next to us the whole day! I'd seen him and thought he looked a lot like Jon Moody, but I never thought it was him. How fun to catch up unexpectedly. Bear Lake is the only summer time vacation place be. :)
After we got cleaned up, Emil and I took a secret walk to the little store at Ideal Beach for an ice cream cone. On our way back, I thanked Emil for getting ice cream with me. "Fank YOU, Mommy." You guys, I am so easy. He doesn't have to do much to make me happy. Friday night after dinner we took the kids for a drive and found a sweet little place for dessert crepes, which we ate outside in the perfect weather. Brian and I lost at Canasta one last time that night.
Saturday morning was craziness getting everything packed up and getting out of town. We'd planned a quick detour to Golden Spike National Monument to get Bridget and the boys a junior ranger badge and to see the reenactment. Grandma and Grandpa came with us. I think they saved our lives. It turns out Promontory Point is the exact middle of nowhere and they don't believe in trees in them parts. It was so hot! We got there in time to see the trains move out of and then into position, blowing their whistles (part of the junior ranger packets explained the short and long whistle combinations). The whistles scared Emil and Colin out of their skin. :) When the trains were moving, the boys were into it, but then the reenactment started. There were a bunch of old guys in costume repeating what I can only assume is verbatim what was said back on May 10, 1869 (Dena was born on the 100th anniversary of the golden spike ceremony!). Every single person had something to say. Colin could not handle his life after about the fifth speech. He whined and complained and head-butted me and adjusted his papers (which almost flew away) and tried to hold my camera. I took it for as long as I could (it was so cool to see those trains close up!), then I walked back to the van with the boys to rustle up some food and drinks for them. I found the three square feet of shade on the premises and made a peanut butter and honey sandwich using a Popsicle stick left over from one of our crafts for a knife. Both boys whined some more, ate chips, opened string cheese that they didn't eat, threw garbage on the ground (not so junior ranger) and complained until their sandwiches had dried up. Emil picked his up to take a bite and threw it down, "it's toast now."
Jupiter, representing the Central Pacific line.
The Union Pacific line. Both boys really were thrilled to watch these trains in motion and hear how loud the whistles are.
There's Colin waving to the train.
While we were not eating lunch and still sitting in the shade, I helped Colin finish his junior ranger booklet. He insisted on doing everything himself after I showed him what he needed to do. I love that! He did that at the lake as well. We'd show him how to paddle in the boat or use something and he'd say, "I got this." Emil, on the other hand, did the very least amount of work possible. He got a badge anyway, but whatever. Bridget didn't have much enthusiasm for this badge, so Grandma and Daddy and Mommy helped her a lot. We got it done, but the struggle was real. While Bridget was finishing up her booklet, Daddy and Grandma and Grandpa took the boys out to the van. I bought the picture book Locomotive by Brian Floca (one of the most beautiful picture books I've ever seen), then joined them outside. Colin was running and jumping on benches and singing, "I'm a Junior Power Range-oh!" Emil was darting into the parking lot without looking and still asking what was next and could he have a soda and a cookie. Brian looked at me with my bag from the shop and asked, "What did you buy to remember this day?"
For the love of all that is holy. Sorry you had to see that, Grandma and Grandpa. It's all my fault. I thought it would be fun. It would have been fun, but it was mostly really hard. We still have our Bear Lake memories to keep us warm, though. :)