Lake Powell is one of our very favorite places we’ve ever been.  Dave and I agree whole-heartedly on that little fact and here we are basking in the fact that we got to go there again for a few days over Fall Break:

 There is just something about those majestic cliffs surrounding you on every side that speaks to me.

 And the sunsets…ahhhhh.  Beauty at it’s finest.

Ok, and also the people.
I love long talks with these good women.  And now our daughters who are old enough to contribute to the conversations which is kind of fun.
(We all happened to wear black swimsuits one day and of course had to capture that 🙂
Interesting how the years have changed things.  So many fewer teenagers this year because some of those who were going to be coming from college couldn’t make it after all, and three of the families who normally come couldn’t this year.  So it was just four families and it was a big contrast to non-stop music blasting and dancing banging from the top of the house boats until all hours of the night to everyone settling down before midnight.  I love having all those teenagers and all the commotion they add, but this year, the more simple, small-group thing was a really beautiful thing to me (although we deeply missed those who couldn’t make it).  One night most of us adults just sat on the roof and gazed at the stars and felt in awe of our nothingness in the whole scheme of things, paired with our awe and gratitude for God’s grandeur.  We watched the gigantic moon rise above the cliffs opposite our camp ground marveled at the beauty.
Here’s my picture from that night…you have to look really close to really see anything but there’s something about it that I love.

 A little surfing…

 (and a LOT of surfing from the kids…)

Lots of “corn hole”…and I’m talking LOTS.  There was always a game going and I loved watching that competition.

 Lots of card games:

One day we ventured out to “Sandy Hill,” which I was excited about because I love to explore at Lake Powell.

As we were about to leave, Dave bet a couple of the kids they couldn’t run up that thing and back in five minutes.  Then the other dads joined in.  And those boys did it.  They ran up and touched that back wall and got back to where we were in a little over FOUR minutes.  Pretty impressive.

We usually luck out with weather going in October…the air is usually still warm and the water is still infiltrated with the summer heat.  But this year a couple of the days were a little cooler and I even loved that.  One of my favorite memories was going out on a little boating adventure just as the sun was starting to sink, bundled in blankets and even a couple down jackets, watching kid after kid surf, some in wetsuits (wimpy desert-dwellers), Dave giving the marching orders to get them in and out lickety-split while the light lasted.  
And my heart was overspilling over and over again with all that beauty and the blessing it was that we got to be there right then and there, with those people we love, towering Lake Powell vistas surrounding us in every direction.   

That’s Dave right there soaking up the last of the lingering light on the horizon.

Back for a bonfire and roasting marshmallows. 

People are so good to Lucy.  Especially this darling Kiley who makes Lucy’s eyes shine:   
I was extra grateful for her and everyone else who is so nice because I was a little extra impatient with Lucy on this trip.  Part of my heart is sad I didn’t cajole her to get outside with me more, take her on a kayak ride, try to build a sand castle with her, etc. (she just wanted to play cards most of the time) and part of me aches that I wasn’t more patient with her constant interruptions of conversations (still really working on social cues and manners in that category).  Part of my heart turns black in situations like that where food is overflowing and I cannot stop her excitement about that all.  I was not the best nurturer for her on this trip.  To my friends and Dave, yes.  We had some pretty great discussions.  But to my daughters not so much.  They were so occupied with friends which I love. 

But I was glad to get those girls of mine packed into the car with me, after kissing Dave good-bye as he headed the other direction to get back to work, to repent and renew my mothering nurturing, encapsulated in a car driving hundreds of miles with nothing but togetherness stretched out in front of us.  

That last day on the lake was pretty much perfection as far as the weather went, so it was killing me that we had to pack up and leave, but those girls of mine and more family adventure with the Eyres and Dave’s sister on the horizon were the silver lining of leaving Lake Powell that is so cemented with goodness in my heart.


  1. I LOVE this: to repent and renew my mothering nurturing.

    Thank you! I have a 2-year-old. She is, I kid you not, an angel baby. Still a normal toddler though, and I struggle with my behavior in response to her behavior. Thank you for that tidbit.

  2. On a past Powell houseboat adventure Lucy fell into the water trying to get onto the houseboat. She may not have wanted to keep getting on and off the boat throughout the vacation in part because of that? Each time on and off requires risk taking. The inside activities and games in general also may be things she can manage with less assistance from others? You encouraged her to do as many of the activities as possible. Her saying no was not a failure. Vacations are hard, so much depends on the kids going with the flow. But its okay if she does not do everything offered.

  3. Lake Powell might possibly be my favorite place on Earth. I've been going since I've been about 3 and I have so many good memories from there. I absolutely love it!!!

  4. I noticed what you wrote about Lucy – I don't usually comment, but this is the second time in as many weeks. I don't know you and honestly feel silly contributing, but here goes any way. My daughter is legally blind. Long story, but we didn't figure it out until she was in third grade. Once we did figure it out and got her glasses to correct her vision, she was amazed by what she could see – stars, birds in the sky, leaves on the trees. And I was amazed to discover that much of her behavior and attitudes had been shaped by trying to compensate and adapt for her inability to see. Things were really hard for her and as her eyesight got worse, her coping behaviors got more intense. She was always grumpy, angry and didn't want to do anything but read. She felt safe when she was reading – it was enjoyable and she could see the pages and there were no surprises. I had no idea what she was going through or how hard it was for her to do all the things I thought were so normal and easy. Her world was really small. She told me recently that she thought she was ugly because she could only see her face clearly if she got right up to the mirror and then her features were distorted. Her glasses didn't help that because she couldn't see herself without them. When she got contacts last year at 13 she could finally see her face the way we could and realized she was actually pretty. I know Lucy's condition is much different, but I thought I'd share my perspective because I felt similarly. I didn't get why my daughter was so closed off and unadventurous, so unobservant and angry. I thought that was her personality and found it frustrating and disappointing, but it was because she couldn't see.

    1. Thank you for the insightful perspective. I think you're exactly right, she can see less and less and it does make her less adventurous, which it totally understandable. I love that your daughter got contacts and that they made such a difference! Love that she can now realize she's pretty, that's such a sweet story. Sometimes it's so hard to get into the minds of these kids of ours, but it's so important to try to see things from their perspective. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. Hi Shawni. Thanks for sharing your blog–it is truly one of my favorites. I'm curious about the logistics of these trips–when y'all go to Lake Powell, do all the families stay on the same houseboat? Do y'all rent it or does someone (or y'all) own it? Also, is the ski boat your boat or is it a rental? We are looking at doing a Lake Powell trip next spring with another family and I was just trying to get an idea of how it works for y'all. Thank you so much!

    1. Oh shoot, sorry Michelle I forgot I never answered this.

      We usually have two houseboats. We are so lucky because one of our friends has a pretty great connection for houseboats (his company owns a bunch of them) so we get them for a deal. Two of the families we go with usually bring boats so we don't have to rent.

      I hope you can figure out your trip, Lake Powell is the best!

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