Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.


And The Skies Are Not Cloudy All Day

Back Row l-r: Mikaela, Lauren, Mama, Melanie, and Papa
Front Row: Jonah, Micah, and Susanna

Last Wednesday we packed up and left town around 8:30 for a very special destination. When I think about it, though, perhaps it wasn't the destination that was so special. Certainly, camping and hiking around Winthrop, WA (est. population: 200) promised to be as picturesque and quaint as they come, but the occasion was the special part. Three out of five siblings (Papa and his two sisters), their spouses, and their children were uniting over dirt, nylon, fire, sweat, marshmallows, and little sleep in celebration of Grandma and Grandpa's 50th anniversary. It was going to be an exciting weekend!

Camryn (3) and Jonah (7)

Thursday was the actual day of Grandma and Grandpa's anniversary, as well as Uncle Joe and Aunt Hiedie's 16th anniversary. Memories flew as Grandma marveled at her age when she got married (she was 15 and Grandpa was 19) and recalled learning to drive after getting fed up with toting two young children to the doctor on the bus. Rebecca, Lauren, and I as well as another cousin (Aimee, who wasn't there) are all within 6 months of each other in age, and Aunt Hiedie bravely drafted four toddlers as her flower girls 16 years ago. That of course sparked another round of memories--I recalled being miffed that I had to hold the bridesmaid's hand. Imagine! I was all of three, and I was certainly capable of trotting down the aisle by myself!

Grandpa and Grandma still in love after 50 years!

After breakfast, everyone headed out for a 1.5 mile hike, exclaiming at the beauty all around us.

After getting back to our campsite, we promptly sat in the 1-ft deep river for a solid hour in an effort to cool off in the 95+ degree heat.

Fajitas were on the menu for dinner and our family was on dinner duty each night! That's Mikaela (left) and Lauren (right) above, frying a ginormous pan of onions.

Toasting our sparkling cider in celebration of what is becoming an increasing rarity in modern culture: 50 years of marriage! My grandparents certainly aren't perfect, but it has been such a blessing to see them grow exponentially in the Lord in the last five years. Their willingness to learn and their commitment to their marriage inspire me to strive for such a testimony.

On Friday, we headed to the grand old town of Winthrop, which is set up in a very cute, Western-themed design. Shopping, a picnic lunch, and ice-cream kept everyone busy for several hours!

Back Row: Melanie, Susanna, Mikaela, Rebecca, Lauren
Front Row: Micah, Jonah, and Camryn

Patiently holding out our hands for the next Jellybelly.
Friday night was full of surprises, planned and unplanned. Everyone for miles around lost electricity due to a fire nearby. Because the camp had its own wells requiring pumps, we lost all water too. It was those flush toilets and warm showers that kept things bearable for me, but when we had no access to those, I began to seriously wish for the comforts of home. ;-) As it was, we endured 24 hours of no water or electricity before everything came back on again the next day. However, we can now say that we were truly roughing it!
We forgot all about the electricity troubles, however, when Aunt Hiedie entertained us all with her ingenious game requiring us to guess Jellybelly flavors. She handed out 18 different flavors, which we had to identify based on a list provided. Then we had five more "advanced" flavors which were combinations we had to recognize and name (no list provided). We are all Jellybelly experts now, hardened to the former charm those sweet nuggets once held for us after indulging in more Jellybellies than one should ever have.
Back Row: Rebecca, Susanna, Mikaela, Melanie
Front Row: Lauren, Micah, Ryan, and Jonah

Lauren astride "Paleface"
Saturday morning was spent on a 4 mile hike. After an hour recovery, we all headed out for an extra-special treat that was the highlight of our trip: a Cowboy Cookout. Everyone over 8 saddled up for a 45 minute horseback ride while Camryn and Jonah rode in a wagon with Aunt Vickie (one way) and Mama (heading back). For city-slickers like me and my family (most of us had never ever ridden a horse), the experience was a learning curve as we learned how to handle the horses. Everyone was exuberant, however, and the evening was delightful!

After arriving at our destination--an old homestead--we were treated to a steak dinner and charming sea chanties from an authentic British sailor and western trail songs from an experienced cowboy.

The whole group!
Back Row: Grandpa, Uncle Larry, Papa
Middle Row: Micah, Grandma, Lauren, Melanie, Aunt Vickie, Mikaela, Mama, and Rebecca
Front Row: Susanna, Ryan, Jonah, and Camryn

Sunday we all had to pack up and leave, but before that happened, we got together for one last group shot. Quick, everybody! Straighten up, suck it in, look at the camera, stop talking, smile, and say cheese!

On the way home, we stopped in Leavenworth, a Bavarian village, and enjoyed a few hours of Bratwursts, shopping, ice-cream, and gigantic knights. ;-)

We arrived home late Sunday night tired and dirty, but grateful for a wonderful time with our family celebrating an amazing milestone in my Grandparent's marriage.

Pictures taken by Mama


  1. Looks like SO MUCH FUN!! Thank you for all the pictures! Wish I could've been there. Loved the picture of your grandparents kissing...too cute. :)
    ~Miss Raquel

  2. Looks like a wonderful-good time! Especially the horse-riding! And I suppose your reasons are "good enough"...but deary-me you were close to being charged with irresponsibility with regards to the blogging world! :D
    Did you notice I just used hyphens for an adjective, a noun, and an...interjection? (?) There must be a name for the mood which cannot tolerate sentences chocked-full of un-hyphenated words. :p

  3. What a fun post! I enjoyed all of the pictures and narrative. Looks like y'all had a great time and I'm sure some special memories were created. : )
    I just noticed that you added my blog to your list of favorite blogs - thank you!! I appreciate that very much!


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