cabin week 2011!

hello friends!

yes, there has been silence on my end for the past week. we just returned from a family vacation at a cabin up north. we vacation with another family, and this year there were 15 adults and two babies——our (almost) one-year-old niece, hannah, and our friends' eight-month-old son, miles. it was a relaxing and wonderful week, and we loved every minute of it. my immediate family has had this vacation tradition for almost 25 years, and i am so thankful that we all make it a priority to keep going, even though life gets so busy. grateful.

i didn't take many pictures. okay, that is a lie——i didn't take many pictures of things other than hannah. :) but here are my five for the week, plus a few extra at the end because i'm a sucker for my niece's eyelashes.

capture2011 :: no. 161 :: 8.14.11 :: baby swing

hannah spent a good amount of time in it!

capture2011 :: no. 162 :: 8.17.11 :: the week's reading

most of us are big readers, so it was fun to see what everyone had brought along as vacation reading.

ben and i listened to an abridged audiobook version of this guy a few summers ago, but i wanted to read the entire thing. so much to like, so much to cringe over. i'm still only a third of the way through.

capture2011 :: no. 163 :: 8.17.11 :: a three-hour tour

pontoon ride at dusk. love the warmth of the sky, the sun sparkles, and my dad's smile.

capture2011 :: no. 164 :: 8.18.11 :: lunches at the beach

we had really lovely weather. not too hot. beautiful.

capture2011 :: no. 165 :: 8.18.11 :: sand toys

the babies spent water time at the kiddie pool, but when the time comes, there are plenty of toys at the resort for building sand castles!

and here are a few of my favorites of hannah. she's getting so big. i bet she'll be walking soon.

i hope you all had a great week!

clamshell recap

whew, what a great vacation! we got back today from a long week up at the lakes. we spent last saturday and sunday with ben's parents up at lobster lake, and then traveled to the pequot lakes area to spend sunday to sunday with my family and another family we've vacationed with for years.

we had nice weather. the few rainy days were fine by me, because i had plenty of sun! the week was filled with reading, water sports, delicious meals, a little golf, and (one of my favorite parts) coffee after dinner. even better, it was a blessing that each of us was able to stay the entire week. in the past, some have had to leave early for one reason or another. it was fabulous to spend the time together. my sister-in-law, lauren, is about eight months pregnant and as cute as a button! our friend marianne and her husband are also expecting, so there were two moms-to-be in the group!

here come the pictures. did i mention the food?

oh yeah, and many games of tetherball. a few of us were sporting some serious bruises midweek.

but of course, i was super interested in practicing with the camera. i had many willing participants who let me snap many obnoxious photos. if you look closely at ben's lens in this photo, you can see how i spent a good portion of the trip.

there was practice on inanimate objects, too.

but like i said, some of the best times were on the boat. ben made us laugh really hard on those trick skis!

it was good to come home (especially because our trimmers installed casing, base, and doors while we were gone!). it will also be nice to get back into the weekly routine. still, i can't wait to go back next year, Lord willing!

notes from the brown couch

good morning! it's been a while. i'll jump right in.

ben and i spent this past week with his family visiting lovely sanibel island, florida. we couldn't have asked for better weather—it was sunny and in the seventies almost every day!

family, food, and good reading. what a great way to spend a trip! i'd like to recommend one book in particular: notes from the tilt-a-whirl: wide-eyed wonder in God's spoken world by n. d. wilson. my brother gave it to my husband for Christmas. ben was sitting directly in front of me on the plane, and when he finished it, he just handed it straight back to me. i opened it up right away. before too long, i had laughed out loud (likely startling the passengers on either side of me) and shed a few tears (although that isn't saying much for me).

it is unlike any book i've ever read. it's the author's thoughts—at first they seem random, but after one read, i can see how calculated he was. i'm sure i'll understanding more after another time through it. wilson focuses on God's creation as His Word...He spoke, He is still speaking. he discusses art, philosophy, ants, good vs. evil, fuzzy kittens, raging seas, and hell. it weaves the Gospel throughout and ends with our final conversation with the One who spoke us into being. [side note: looks like n. d. wilson also writes children's fiction. he's incredibly pleasant to read.]

that's it for now! ben and i are planning to purge our bedroom closet today. then church and a love-cars show. yippee!

back again!

i took an unintentional two-month break from blogging! to be honest, i kind of just forgot about it. i've been encouraged by the people who have urged me to update. it makes me happy that people are reading this.

friends have been asking us if we're done with the house yet. the short answer is both yes and no. we're done with a phase of it, but i realize we'll never be "done" entirely. it is a work in progress, and even when we have the home furnished and decorated, i'm sure i'll want to keep playing around with things. but that is the fun part of being a homeowner! for now, we are going to enjoy the holidays and pick back up with our master bedroom in february.

so in honor of being "done" with this first phase, ben and i went and spent a weekend at a hotel in minneapolis. our room was beautiful - on the top floor, corner room, with two walls of windows looking over the city! i got plenty of decorating inspiration, especially for our upcoming master bath remodel. it was an incredibly restful weekend, and a blessing to spend such quality time with my husband.

we went to the james j. hill house on saturday, which was super fun.

in other news, today was our church's women's Christmas brunch. kristen and i decorated and hosted a table. i'm glad she remembered to snap some photos, because i completely forgot.

my mom, sister, and i have gone to this brunch for many is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. more family and friends come each year, and it was a joy to celebrate the birth of our Savior with these precious women.

i'll try to remember to be back tomorrow with a few snapshots from the house. until the future!