"Being a family means you are part of something wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. No matter what." ~Author Unknown

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Freedom, Family, and Friends

The Fourth of July for us means gathering good friends and family at our lake and endless hours of eating, swimming, boating, and chatting. A little background story...My best friend from middle school, Steph, married Mark's best childhood friend, Brian. Mark and Brian own a business together and we own our cottage with them. Steph and Brian have 5 children, 3 biological and 2 beauties from China. Brian's parents, Harv and Lee, live across the lake. Brian's sister Ellen is married with a little boy Alexander(I'll get to him later...OMG so cute). That is our base lake family, but on weekends like this, we all have our extended family and friends out and it can get pretty wild! We are almost always outnumbered by kids, and the number people fluctuates between 35-45. It is wonderful, and you can't help but sit back and survey the landscape covered in people and think how lucky we are to have this many people we love and that love us. It's a very unique situation. The guests are usually split between our place and Harv and Lee's, and then we alternate dinner nights. This weekend started on Friday with the girls at our place preparing by painting nails! So cute!

Saturday and Sunday brought whole days of lake livin'! Poor Brian and Mark NEVER stop driving the boats. All the kids want to tube, ski, kneeboard, and wakeboard. Harv and Lee have a nice grassy beach area so those of us with little ones end up congregating there. So funny for me this year...I was completely free for so many years, and now I'm back to chasing a 2 yr old around and worrying about naptime! I loved every minute of it. It is such a privilige and joy to watch your children experience things for the first time. It still happens occasionally with the big girls, but everyday is a new discovery for Sof. She was not too keen on the water, but loved playing in the sand, the water table, and taking boatrides.

Sof and Alexander spent a lot of time play BY each other, not necessarily WITH each other! Alexander is, how can I say this...a WILD man on the beach! He was constant entertainment, never stops, and has NO fear! His poor Momma had a back ache by the end of the weekend just trying to keep him from drowning! I love this boy and could watch him all day long, wait I did. I could eat him if he wasn't such a dirty, sandy, little boy mess!

Yes, that is 16 mos old Alexander on the tube. Told you, no fear!

Evenings are just as much fun at the lake. We clean up, get out food and drinks, and just enjoy each other's company. There is always SO much food. I don't need to eat the rest of the month!

Harv had a birthday...
Top Row: Steph, Ellen, Andy(Ellen's Hubby), and Brian
Bottom Row: Lee and Harv

Lee with her sisters

All the girls!

My mom kept Natalie at her house most the weekend, but they came out on the 4th for the afternoon.

Steph's sister and my sister both have kids the same ages. So funny that both their big girls are dark hair and skin, and the babies are so fair!

Sof loves her baby cousin! She's hugging her not tackling her:)

Lexi loves her too, but not when she spits up!

This brings me to my favorite documented part of the weekend. The girls always get together and make up a dance. Our girls are all outgoing and involved in dance, gymnastics, or cheer. I love to see my kids perform, and I love to see their confidence boosted by all the adults rallying around them. Everyone watches. Old, young, women, men. Whoever is there and not in the dance gathers to cheer them on. It's really something! It's by far my favorite part of the weekend to see my girls beaming with pride, and to see all those adults sending love their way. Love it!!

Some of the spectators...

Being silly with Papa Harv

Our Little Stars!

Lastly, my favorite undocumented moment of the weekend...fireworks. We sat around the campfire, Sof on my lap in her PJ's and holding her blankies, and watched the fireworks over the lake. I should clarify, I didn't really watch the fireworks, I watched Sof watch the fireworks! Her eyes were wide, her little finger pointing, and squeals of delight pouring out of her. No pictures to post, only ones in my mind to treasure. Some moments are like that, just for me.
Happy 4th!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a blast!!!! Your girls will have a lifetime of memories! Thanks for the tip about swimming gear-we are going to give it a try this weekend! I think we have a little fish on our hands! :-)