Investing in Family Relationships

My parents, sister (we missed her fiance!), brother and his wife and their 2 girls, my husband and I and our 3 kids just got back from a 3 day vacation to Northern Michigan. I treasure the time I had with my family this past week. It was simple. beautiful. needed.

Early Monday morning we all met up together and headed north-east to climb to the top of a lighthouse. Once reaching the top, we gazed for miles. I made sure my eyes were scanning the horizon and not the depths below! Yikes!

At the lighthouse

We then walked along the rocky beach of Lake Michigan for a bit before heading onto our next destination.

Another 2 hours later we arrived at our "home" for the next couple of days. It was an old motel converted into little "efficiency cabins" on Paradise Lake, complete with bedrooms, bathroom and a kitchen. It was wonderful! A bit rustic, but simple and sufficient.

If only I could get ready for each day gazing out at a beautiful body of water. It does help inspire you for the day ahead!

During our 3 day stay we had so much fun together. It was exactly what we all needed.

I was able to rekindle relationships with siblings that sometimes get aswayed by the busyness of life. Grandparents were able to spend time with grandchildren, a son-in-law and son could spend time with a father and father-in-law. And the weather was amazingly perfect on top of all that. We couldn't have asked for a better time.

Each morning we had breakfast together and Adam was, of course, in charge of pancakes.

I loved spending time with my brother as we took some of our kids out in the paddleboat. We were laughing so hard at the difficulty we were having even getting the crazy boat away from the dock and we finally made it "out to sea" where we spotted "pirates" (Daddy, Grandpa and baby Caleb in a rowboat).

We then started having difficulty steering again only to realize each time it was because one of the children was hanging on to the rudder...:)

After conversing with "the pirates" we raced them back to shore at a very slow speed.

My parents with all of their grandchildren at the Mackinac Bridge

We took a lot of family pictures along Lake Michigan at the Mackinac Bridge, the kids spent time playing in the sandbox, fishing, playing shuffleboard, eating marshmallows, going for a lovely bike ride (on which we took the tandem, a baby seat and a bike trailer. Later that night Adam asked how I was after the bike ride. I replied, "Fine." He said "Are you sore? "No." Were you sweating? "No." Were you breathing hard? "No." Were you pedaling? "Well, my feet were going around on the pedals..." But were you actually pushing? "I guess not really. Oops. Sorry about that!" So, my poor husband towed along 5 people on the couple mile bike ride. What a guy! I can't help but chuckle to think about it--and it was honestly done in innocence, mind you!) :)

The kids in front of a wigwam outside of The Legs Inn

On our way home we drove through The Tunnel of Trees and stopped in Harbor Springs where we saw personal yachts that were MUCH larger than our home! Amazing.

As you can tell, we made some great memories and I loved our time together. It was our first time doing this and I hope not our last.

  Aunt Annie helping Carlee read before bed one night

I praise the Lord for His safety for all of us, the fantastic weather, and for the relationships that were able to be strengthened.

Cousins playing along Lake Michigan

More cousin time...

What happens when you're naughty on vacation....=)

I strongly encourage you to plan an extended family vacation if you are at all able. It doesn't have to be extravagant. We stayed in a simple lodging, packed our own food and kept the sightseeing to things that were inexpensive or free. You should give a trip like this a try!


Pamela said...

Simply beautiful account of God-given family time. We have friends who vacation on the island often and we've talked about going together. Dan Wilcox said, "I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich." said...

Thank you so much Pamela! What a great quote too-thanks for sharing!! Have a wonderful, thankful day!

Mama Chocolate said...

I love these times! We are just heading out this afternoon for a camping trip with my extended family! I look forward to it every year!

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