Man alive, I’m coming back to the present for a minute so I can write about being right here, right now.

So much has happened this summer.  Starting with graduation and trek and our trip, then dropping off Elle at college, then a trip for me and Dave to the BBS conference (pretty tough one this time around), the 4th of July and a mother/daughter road trip up the coast of California (so gorgeous and so much I want to remember).  
But now we are here:

And it is gorgeous and beautiful as ever.

Our big Eyrealm reunion is a little later than usual this year since my mom has been in England taking care of our newest little nephew who just got welcomed to the world.  Oh boy he is a dreamy one, and we cannot wait to meet him in real life!

The rest of us have been trickling in family by family to soak up the lake we all love so much. Two of my brothers have a work conference this week and my sisters’ husbands (as well as Dave) aren’t here until the reunion so us moms have been herding a lot of kids and loving being together up here amidst the chaos.

We have fed the horses…

Gone on lots of walks with kids in tow (looking out for rattlesnakes along the way!)

Gone on lots of “mom walks” in the evening when the sun is sinking behind the mountains on the other side of the lake:

(Obviously I can’t get enough of those Bear Lake sunsets.)
Met our new baby cousin over FaceTime:
Played a bunch of games:

Spent afternoons at the beach watching the cousins bond…

…and bonding ourselves.

How very grateful I am to be related to these women! 
…and their kids and husbands too.  
All these cousins have loved being together once again.  Here’s group #3:
These three girls got an added perk this year since our cute neighbor offered to give them an art lesson.
I love the beautifully unique paintings each girl came up with.

…and how messy they got!

This is the portion of group #5 who showed up early:

…who have had picnics at the raft any day they can, and who have re-named their “group” a few times.  We’ve called them the “princesses” for years, but this year Lucy decided maybe the “dogs” would be a cooler name.  I was cracking up when I found this message on my phone:

Well, she talked to them when she arrived, and they decided maybe “puppy princesses” would work.

And since then the name has evolved to the “Uni-bunnies” since they all love unicorns and bunnies so much.  We’ll see what the name is by the time we leave 🙂

We’ve witnessed some pretty great group tennis lessons:

…with my dad as the coach-extraordinaire.

Younger kids:

Older kids:

Not pictured: we have also had some pretty great womens’ doubles matches on that court, have done what seems like ten-gazillion dishes and cooked a lot of food…which I love because these ladies are pretty dang great cooks and I’m learning a lot.

My Dad, being the pretty amazing grandfather that he is, has also been working on getting these kids to memorize all the “Grandfather’s Secrets” he has taught them over the years.  

He has assigned older kids to younger kids to help tutor them to learn them all and kind of internalize them.  And oh man I adore that man and that he does this.  The picture above is from one day right when he got back from taking them on a hike to visit “Single Tree,” a tree that stands alone on the top of a high vista by the lake.  The “Grandfather’s Secret” that goes along with that is pretty awesome and they had it pretty wonderfully memorized and thought through when they got home.

Oh man this dad of mine can’t stop himself from teaching and loving and teaching some more and I love it so much!

We have bonded and attached to each other in more ways than one 🙂

One of my very dearest friends (who is pretty much a family member since we grew up together) came up to visit one day.  We took her on our evening walk…

…and watched the sun set together.

…as we practiced our photo skills.

After our California road trip Grace headed home with Dave to get to cheer camp while the little girls and I came here.

It was a wild fiasco to get her back up here, which could take a day to explain…

…but I’ll just say real quick that she and Dave were on the plane for a couple hours the day before, and went back and forth from the gate to the runway three times trying to figure out if they should really take off or not.  They got off the plane once, got re-loaded and on to the runway again only to turn around again.

Finally they cancelled the flight.

So Grace got on the next one the next day (by that time Dave couldn’t come any more because by the time he got up here he’d have to turn around and get back for work meetings) so this time the flight did actually get here, but the scheduled ride to the lake got delayed.  Needless to say we were SO excited when she finally arrived!

Can you tell Lucy was excited?  Love it.  Man we missed that girl of ours!

One of my favorite things at the lake is what’s happening right here:

After dinner we stay put as the commotion of the kids dies down as they leave to go play downstairs and we discuss the world.

Love to hear what is in these minds and how they all interlace and relate and love each other and the world around them.

We are so anxious for the reunion to start (and especially to get Dave up here!) but have loved this “calm before the storm.”  Ha!  
Although I love my rotating bed partners…
…I’m ready to turn their kicking, squirming, sleep-talking selves in for my Dave in a few days:)
Oh man, how I love this “thin-place” of mine that has been home in the summers for as long as I can remember.

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  1. Look what your parents have started!! How blessed you and your family are to have a "gathering" place that will be woven into generations. Reading your thoughts and musings is like coming home for me and reading about my own childhood summers. Although we didn't spend them at Bear Lake (but now my children do with their cousins) it was always about cousins, conversations, gathering, loving, laughing and building. Thank you for sharing.

  2. So, Grace has, so far this summer, been to Europe, been on a CA road trip, been to cheer camp, been to Bear Lake…school starts in about 2 weeks, right? Wow. Sounds like fun, but terribly rushed. Hopefully she will have a day or two just to chill in her own home before the daily grind starts back up.

    1. It sounds like your family has been blessed with a lot of time together traveling. The best thing about travel is not being rushed. You dictate your own schedule and get quality time together. Love the pics of Bear Lake!! Enjoy your time.

  3. Love hearing about your time at Bear Lake! I was traveling with my famiy from Salt Lake City to Jackson Hole and told them we had to go via Bear Lake because I wanted to get a Raspberry Milkshake! We are from SC and it was our first time as a family out that way. Had the best milkshake at LaBeau's! And Bear Lake was so pretty!

  4. Of course now I want to know what the Grandpa secrets are. But then they wouldn't be secrets…

    I sent you an email about something and thought I'd mention I'd sent it here because I know your inbox get swamped!

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