Some things that parents do really stick.

Sometimes that knowledge is what keeps me going in a world of eye-rolling and mother-ignoring.

I know I did it to my parents too.

The big eye roll when my mom played her classical music.

The sigh that we had to do our jobs AGAIN.

The “happies” and “sads” at the dinner table.

Yes, I do it all with my kids now.

Because it’s part of me after all those years.

I loved that this summer a bunch of my brothers took their kids and headed up to our old stomping grounds in Oregon.

We built this thing with our own blood and sweat and tears many, many summers ago:

(more details on that back HERE)

And those crazy couple summers up there with no other human being aside from our family smack dab in the middle of the wilderness really stuck.

My brothers loved it enough that they worked out a plan to take their own kids up there.

(If I wasn’t in and out of that place so much I would have tagged along…the pictures they shared of that trip made me drool to do it next year.)

It’s just a plot of dirt up in Oregon.

The cabin isn’t much to look at.  It’s been taken over by packrats, and one wall is about to topple over.

But there are golden memories oozing out of that thing like nobody’s business.  It wasn’t an expensive vacation to Europe or a fancy hotel…we were living in tents and a tee pee (for reals) and most of the time we had a complete layer of dirt covering us from head to toe.

But that trip seeped into our hearts and united us.  Taught us to work.  Taught us to love.  Taught us to slow down.

So much that those boys put in all the effort to repeat it.

They didn’t build a cabin this time…or even try to fix the one we built (I think it’s past help).  They started anew.

They built a little treehouse, and a slack-line.

And just like our trip all those years ago wove golden threads in our family tapestry, I think these kids own golden memories are pretty vibrant already.

They hammered trees, threw rocks down the gully, hiked to our old family stand-bys…”Looking-glass gorge,” “The Grassy Knoll,” and the burned down “hollow tree.”  Here’s a little snippet from Tal:

And a little time lapse of the tree-house-building project from Eli:

They came back to Bear Lake covered in layers of dirt with huge smiles stretched across their faces.

Those boys beamed with a glow that the satisfaction of hard work and serious quality time together bring.  The kids’ eyes shone as they recounted their adventures.

Adventures that created memories they won’t soon forget.

Yes, some things parents do really stick.

And it doesn’t have to be somewhere in the wilderness of Oregon.  We can create some kind of adventures in our own back yard.  It’s just about “being” together.

Something tells me maybe those kids will be back one day with their own kids building who-knows-what, faces glowing with excitement.

But before then I better get up there with my girls 🙂

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  1. My family and I would go on some crazy family trips……but we went to a small Island on Lake Superior almost every summer. No electricity or running water, had to use a outhouse and take baths in Lake Superior. That was one of the best times that we had on vacation.

  2. I have childhood memories that have planted themselves in my heart like yours. I long to pass them onto the next generation. My memories are of family reunions in Yellowstone; cousins everywhere,dirt, fishing and swimming in freezing cold lakes. But I always felt love and had a sense of belonging there. That you for sharing and helping me remember how much I long to pass the same feelings onto future generations.

  3. Hi Shawni! I had sent you an email at the end of July about Elle possibly modeling some dresses for me. I know life has been totally crazy for you guys! But I just wanted to check back to see if you ever received it. If not I can send you all of the details again. If you could please email me back at that would be great! Thanks!

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