I love road trips! Especially when they involve warm sun, people you love, and a new Adventures in Odyssey radio drama album! Judging from the photos above, Susanna also loves when they include opportunities to throw people off of jet skies. (Although, to give full disclosure, the photos started as Papa hamming it up for the camera until he lost his balance and actually fell in!)
Our road trip led to Eastern Washington, where we met up with our favorite cousins to go on another tubing adventure down the Yakima river. All went well, except for the part where the current shoved our flotilla of tubes against a sheer rock cliff, turning Mikaela's tube over and nearly forcing her under. Mama had her back, though--praise the Lord for her strong arms!
An intense game of "Four on the Couch" with our cousins.
Susanna and Cody
Serious (except Trevor, who's goofy)
Goofy (except Trevor, who's serious)
The "grown ups"--clockwise from back: Papa, Mama, Cousin Peggy, Delmer, and Michelle
After spending a few days with the cousins we drove out to Grandma and Grandpa's lake house in Idaho, but the next day we went to Silverwood, a gigantic amusement park, with those same cousins. We spent a wonderful day there: the bonus was that no one got permanently lost and I managed not to get sick on any of the roller coasters--hooray!
We spent a lovely evening with my grandpa on Mama's side.
Mikaela mailed a post card to Joel every few days when we were at Grandma and Grandpa's. This involves walking about a half mile up their steep switchbacks to the long, quaint row of the community's mailboxes. I love that right next to the mailboxes they have a phone-booth sized case of books with the title, "Library."
The weather was gorgeous the entire week, so our daily schedule went something like this: sleep in, eat breakfast, get swimsuit on and go for a dip, eat lunch, go for another dip, eat dinner, play games. Of course, there was a generous amount of ice cream in there, along with a boat cruise one day for good measure!
Grandpa kept us laughing!
Grandma kept us eating!
Jonah kept us smiling!
Mikaela and I turned 23 while we were at the lake, and we got to go water skiing on our birthday! We both have water skiied before, but it had been a few years. Mikaela got up on her first try, while I plowed water until I was doing the splits and had to let go several times before I got up. Notice in the photo in the right upper corner the expression on my face, but also the expression on Papa's face as he watches from the dock, wanting to help me out!
For our birthday dinner, Mama made this amazing Greek recipe that I had been craving from Pinterest. It was delicious!
My grandparents are special people!
Grandpa and I
Grandpa and Mikaela
Melanie made the amazing book-paper necklace I am wearing! This sister of mine is such a talented jewelry creator!
Mikaela and I cried over each other's gifts, knowing that this could be the last birthday we spend together for awhile, and then we laughed at each other for crying. She gave me a treasured necklace with rock, paper, and scissors charms because that is our favorite way to decide who does what in any given situation. Half the time we both do the exact same sign, and the other half she wins, but that's OK. I gave her the silhouette you can see in this photo of us around age 3 or 4, printed on canvas. With such sentimental gifts, is it any wonder we cried?
It was such a special, emotional birthday! From all the sweet gifts to the very sweet dessert (a family favorite--Sydney Sundaes!), it was a day to remember.
God even gave us an enthralling thunder and lightning show for our birthday! We all sat together in darkness, watching the lighting explode over the expanse of the lake and counting the seconds between the light and the sound. The lightning was phenomenal, but so was the feeling of simply being together as a family, saying little things or saying nothing at all, but still loving deeply.
On the final day of our trip we met up with Aunt Carol, Mama's sister, and spent a wonderful afternoon with her!
And after seeing Aunt Carol, we went to the wedding reception of our friend Meghan's brother. It was so good to see her and her family again. Some of you may remember that Meghan is our "triplet", since we share a birthday in the same year. We gave her this sign for her birthday and talked up a storm the whole evening!
When we arrived back at Grandma and Grandpa's house that night, knowing the next day brought the final leg of our road trip, Mikaela spontaneously suggested, "Let's go jump in the lake!"
It was about 11 o' clock, and lightning was still glowing over the distant horizon, but Mikaela, Susanna, and I ran across the dock and jumped into the warm water. It felt amazing.