Friday, July 27, 2012

Okoboji 2012

A lakside family photo! 
Last week was our annual trip to Lake Okoboji, Iowa, for a week long family vacation with all of my immediate family!  The trip is a tradition, and shortly after arriving this year we discovered it was our 25th trip.  I'm 28, so we've only missed 3 years in my entire lifetime.  One year we went to Disney World, one year we did an extended weekend trip to Kansas City, and one year we got married!  I think it's pretty special to continue a tradition like this with all of us and now our own kids.  I hope we have another 25 years ahead of us!  All these pictures are from my phone...this week has gotten away from me, and I haven't gotten a chance to download the others on my camera!

All dressed up for dinner...the little diva was twirling!
As always, we make a big shopping trip on the first day to gather all the "necessities" for a week at the lake.  Now with the kids, it is easier & less-stressful for everyone to make more meals at the house versus fighting the heat and crowds at the local restaurants.  We still did a few meals out to give Mom a break and satisfy everyone's cravings for the Dry Dock breakfast (with Blood Mary's and beer chasers) and Tweeter's.  The rest of the time we ate at home having everything from BBQ Ribs to Filet Mignon to Honey BBQ Chicken Wings!  We ate better than anyone on that lake some nights!

A post-dinner sunset cruise!  Doesn't get much better than this!
We never know what to expect out of the kids, and this year was no exception!  Thankfully, we made it through without any major illnesses or trips to the ER.  Delaney's only major issue was not wanting to sleep.  We had to lay down in our bed next to hear for at least an hour at every naptime and bedtime just to get her to calm down enough to fall asleep.  She was also the family alarm clock every day, graciously waking EVERYONE up before 7 most days.  Chase was an early riser too, but he isn't nearly as vocal as Delaney in the mornings! 
The kid's first "lake swim"!
The kids both did great with the boat, water, and lake.  They tolerated their life jackets like champs in the suppressing heat!  I really don't remember either of them complaining about them at all.  Delaney loved the boat rides, she just had trouble understanding that she needed to stay in one spot when the boat was moving!  Chase loved the boat too, he got to dance with his Mommy and drive with his Daddy.  He even managed to squeeze in a few naps on the boat.  He looked some completely peaceful and uncomfortable passed out in his life jacket!  We even got the kids out in the lake for a little swim time.  Neither one of them liked to "free float" in their life jackets, but they both had a ball in the arms of Mommy & Daddy!

Chase needed a koozie for his drink, just like everyone else!  He thought he was pretty cool!
 It's hard to bring the entire family all under one roof for an entire week, so we really cherish this time.  This year was especially bittersweet since Jess & Nick are now officially living in Iowa.  The times when all of us can be together will probably be fewer and farther in between, so it was nice to spend some serious quality time with everyone!  Next year, Nick will have vacation and won't be commuting for vacation, so it will be even better!  Thanks Mom & Dad for starting & keeping the tradition alive, and thanks to my siblings for going with us!  We had a wonderful time and are already starting the countdown to next year's trip!

The kids had a lot of fun this night playing with Nick and a laundry basket!

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