Every year I have a tough time figuring out how in Heaven’s name to document Bear Lake. 

I take so dang many pictures and there’s so much that happens up there.

So I guess the best way to do this thing is to just dive in at the beginning.  

Lucy, Max and I got home from NYC after midnight, slept for a few hours, met up with my high school friends for brunch, went with my friend Maureen to Costco and loaded up her car full to the brim with reunion food.  (You see, the person who chaired the reunion the year before is in charge of helping to gather food, and that was me.  And Maureen, bless her heart, was good enough to help since she was coming up to the lake with us for a couple days.)

Then we headed up to that glory place we call Bear Lake just in time to unload all that food, give big rounds of hugs, and take off on one of our traditional “sister’s walks” to watch the sun set on the other side of the lake, turning the sky all around us water-color-pastel.

Many good talks have happened along this road over the years.

I love our reunions up at the lake.  
But I might have to say that I love the pre and post reunion times even more.
Ok, maybe I can’t compare becuase they’re just different, but I love how slow-paced it all is before and after too.  People gathering at the beginning, coming from all over the place, and all the thinning out at the end…as much as you love being with everyone, the smaller groups are so good for talking and just being.
None of us can ever get over the beauty of that lake.  The shifting colors, the always-changing skies and sunsets.
Before the reunion you can actually get a minute on our 20-year-old-but-still-chugging boat (love that thing).  Here’s my brother…
But of course the people are what make it the best.

So great to have Maureen join us for a couple days too.

That girl is like family since she’s grown up with us all so she fit right in.

Bo Jangles cracks us up at the lake.

She loves it, but she definitely knows her “people.”

She does not swim at home.  She won’t get even close to the pool with a ten foot pole.

But at the lake she wants to keep us all in her view at all times.  If we go out to the raft of boat, she’s right there next to us, just swimming away.

She makes me laugh.

And she looks mighty pretty when she’s wet:


She and my sister’s dog Scout (behind her above) have a big time up at the lake I tell you!

Gosh I had missed this sparkly Claire of mine, since she had come up to the lake with cousins while Max, Lu and I were in NYC:

So good to snuggle her up…she had taken such great care of Bo Jangles up there.  It was also so good to see my London sister Charity and her new baby…reunions are the best.
Love that we got to have these TWO new babies with us this year:

They were born only a few days apart and they were snuggled up to no end the whole time up there:

Grace and Max arrived the day before the reunion so they could be there in time for the always-much-anticipated GRAMMIE CAMPS (my mom does a little session with every group of kids every year…she never ceases to amaze me…more on that back HERE). 

I didn’t get pics this year, but she did a blog post that talks about what they did if you scroll to the end over HERE).

There’s something about getting the majority of your kids back together that just speaks to me.

Hugging by the car in the hazy afternoon sun, Bo bounding around them in excitement.  So good to see Grace again since this summer I keep missing her.

…and it never hurts to have that big brother mixed in… 🙂

As most of the last arrivals came in that night, there was thick love filling the air. 
Max saw people (and the new babies) he hadn’t seen since before his mission, my brothers surrounding him asking so many questions and his big smile poking up above everyone else’s heads.  I can’t remember what we talked about on those “talking couches” (our leather couches we crowd onto every night and talk to all hours of the night) that night, but I loved it.

The day the reunion started I took a group of teenagers (including my two girls) out on the boat.

Everyone got a turn, including one who had never skied before.

And I showed Grace the ropes so I could take my own turn on that beauty-lake.

Nothing like a good ski surrounded by all those different hues of blue…

…especially when it’s right there with these girls I love:

Then we went and cleaned up, because it was time…
…the opening ceremonies of the 2018 reunion were right around the corner at dinner.
HOPE I can get to that tomorrow!


  1. Shawni thank you for sharing your beautiful families. Something where I can learn to better myself and the family I find it gives me hope for the future

  2. I look forward to Bear Lake posts every year! I think I say this every time – but I wish I'd had the forethought your family has to make things like this part of my family. Thank you for continuing to share! xo

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