falling back in love with my family

my vacation last week was awesome! when we got back someone (jeannett, i think?) asked if it was the kind of vacation where at the end you’re ready to be home. my answer was no. it wasn’t. we could have stayed there, easily, another week – if it weren’t for the renters coming in after us, oh and reality… work for sean, commitments, etc. but it was wonderful to be gone and have so much time as a family.

we started the weekend by leaving saturday around noon with our friends, the ernstrom’s, who came along for the first few days. the trip took longer than the usual 3-3 1/2 hours because of potty breaks and nursing stops.
it was 105 in fresno!

here’s an idea of how hot it was: gracie needed to pee, of course when no rest stop in sight, so we pull off to the side of the road and have her squat. by the time she was back in the car, the puddle was no more! then we had to stop in fresno with a fussy baby. we went in a babies r’ us for the air conditioning and kid friendly environment. then back on the road to bass lake for another hour.

our friends and sean’s business partner, the theule’s, and my brother and his family joined us up there for a few days, too. we had a great time with good friends and family. cousins in the “hot pool”
lily, annika, kaycie, and gracie
cousin emilie holding silas
this is the island in front of my parents’ house on labor day – nutty! there had to be at least 100 people on the usually vacant island!
gracie and cousin josie
sean getting some air!
chad, julianne, and kyle theule
cousin noah taking gracie on a canoe ride to the island
after our friends left we had some great family time. all week sean was super dad, doing all the things i would normally ask him to do, but doing them before i could even ask! it was so nice!snuggle time – silas slept most of this vacation, i think because of the heat

my parent’s were very helpful, too. they had to work a couple of the days, but were home a lot with us. we had a good balance of family alone time and time relaxing with my parents. my mom and i got a few hours to work on their plans for a loft above our garage – i can’t wait for the day they get started on that project! sean did end up having to work at least a full day, but i can’t really complain too much!
this time was so good for us to reconnect. i was able to sit back (in the shade with silas) and watch sean love on his girls. they wanted to swim with him so much. gracie got so brave that week and started jumping off the dock by herself, with no one to catch her, and swam back to shore (with water wings on). i was so proud of her for being so independent with that. she usually is much more timid to do stuff like that. lily also loved the water wings, and she’d just dive into the water over and over, especially in the hot tub.

we went on a great hike as a family. lily and silas slept most of the hike, so it was a great time to connect with grace. look closely – all of the orange spots are clusters of ladybugs!

we saw a huge colony of ladybugs. gracie was in heaven!
we left saturday morning and stopped at lake san antonio for the church campout. so much fun! we only stayed until about 9:30 at night (no room for camping stuff in our car!), then headed home. we definitely plan to go for the entire campout next year, it was great! we finished off our vacation on sunday by unpacking, settling back into routine, and prepping for the week ahead of us. getting back to reality can be so hard, but the memories of our time together last week are sooo good! i really was able to cherish my family and fall back in love with them. i have been refreshed and look forward to the days ahead of me.
ps – as reminded by denise in her comment, my dad, brother, sean and chad all played a little game with airsoft guns. sean hit my dad between the eyes, leaving an open wound, then he got my brother in the mouth and broke his teeth! oops! next time, i vote for mandatory face masks.


  1. 1

    No mention of your husbands violence in this post??!! How he took out the Jones men one at a time? First breaking the skin of his father-n- law, then taking out his brother-n-laws teeth!!??
    I hope Sean is seeking some professional help (from Mark to get a better aim :-).
    For now Michael isn’t allowed to play with Sean anymore.
    Btw- I had a give away last week and found that it was Sean’s cousin, Kristen (from Idaho) who won! Seems you got her blogging too!
    You have us all sucked in.
    Love you tons!

  2. 2

    What a relaxing vacation. I love trips like that when you do get refreshed and renewed to come back to the “real world” It definitely makes it harder to get back into the swing of life, you wish those vacations could just go on and on… I am glad you were able to spend quality time with your family. How fun!

  3. 3
    Brianna Heldt says:

    what sweet time with family and friends! glad you had fun and i’m glad you stopped off at lake san antonio to hang out saturday.

    didn’t make it to mitchell park today, was there a good turnout??

  4. 4
    Carrie Haughey says:

    Love all the pictures, it looks beautiful up there!

    I really love the picture of you and the babe on your hike, so gorgeous!!

  5. 5

    One of my most vivid memories of Bass Lake as a kid is finding a huge colony of lady bugs! I agree Gracie, so cool!!!

  6. 6
    Sarah Markley says:

    This actually looks like my dream vacation! I am so glad you shared the pictures. Usually a kids-along trip is difficult, but it seems like you had a lot of help and a lot of fun!!!

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