Sunday, August 07, 2016

Aww.... Vacation 2016

" There is nothing .. Nothing in life .. Like messing around in boats "
( i think I made this quote up long ago)

We just finished three weeks of vacation time  - and as much as i love to travel many places and explore - nothing really comes close to three weeks in summer at the cottage 

Especially when for i think for the first time in 22 yrs of cottage history we can finally say " we had amazing weather !!! " sure some clouds and a little rain  some days but over 21 days most days were hot swimming boating ones . The angels shone upon us for at least 75 percent of the time !

Couples time was wonderful . Time with Beauty just the three of us very precious . Time all 5 of us was truly wonderful.

A few highlights of the last week of family vacation 

- felt even more special because the boys mostly gone for summer so we were all very happy to be reunited 

- chase was highly annoying the first couple of days as he has had to date a summer with no rules or structure . Couple of big fights at beginning of vacation and then we all settled in 

- beauty has been soooooo sweet and nice and close to us all. We have savored every minute 

- bear is the most affectionate he has ever been . When he likes a girl he is always nice

- are kids are : so so so damn loud !!

- ....and messy!!

-... And super connected  and close 

- the days are like this :
They get up between 12-1pm !
- if there is time before 1pm they go on thier phones 
-phones go away 1-6:00/6:30pm
- we go for 1.5 hr boat ride
- we eat long lunch at 3pm on the dock
- we swim off dock after lunch and splash around 
- we do 2 hrs of watersports
- we all relax and do whatever from 6-8pm
- we all cook , tidy , do groceries and shower ( some if us ! ) at 8pm
- we sit down to dinner outside at 10pm (  14 all new recipes )
- we watch out series " stranger things from 11:30-12:30 and all cuddle on the couch often with a snack 
- we go on our phones or do puzzles 12:30-1:30 am approx

- everyone goes to bed ( and hubby and i often on bali bed on dock under the stars and wake up around 10am and swim in the lake beneath our feet :)))

Its all a little crazy i know . And a wierd schedule and a bit bizarre but really magical and incredible and fun 

Mostly it is ours
Our routine
Our thing 
And somehow we have wired our kids this way too

We made it clear to our kids many years ago that one week at cottage is mandatory as a family no matter what . So far they agree ! Its hard to make it work but i think essential to all of us .

A few realizations 
- less conflict the less i speak
- hubby and i less connected as a couple when kids around 
- family time is very very important to us and a true basket a
- i hate the music the boys listen too but have made it a basket c
- i adore beauty's music
-taking technology away for most the  day is the smartest thing i have ever done and a constant but necessary struggle 

- chase has shown us that he can ask us advice on anything in his life . Hard for us to hear as parents but so good for teens to know they can discuss absolutely anything 

-we all adore our cow blanket 

- ok stranger things is really really good 

- our kids are really getting on our nerves re their bad manners table and elsewhere . Clearly we have not focused enough on this in their lives . Disappointed in them and in oursélves 

- all the cuddling . For three teens we lucked out as all cuddlers with us and with each other 

- great manners with guests who come over however . Welcoming , engaging , warm , curious, inviting . That part good

- loved having soulkeeper and her hubby on boat for late swim and then mexican fiesta with kids and jacuzzi. Great discussions with kids too . Like a village raising our kids it felt like 

- lots and lots of boat rides and blankets and water sports

- fave tradition we have ( and i did not even steal it !! ) pizza making contest that we do once a year on vacation . Categories include : taste ; look ; creativity ; name of pizza ; music piece to accompany  the taste . 
Love it and super fun and delicious . Hubby won hands down this year with his thai pizza of cilantro, chicken , challots, carrots, fish sauce and peanuts 

- mr pizza by boat and shopping for didi bday gifts !

-bear being invited to both a big party and a day of surfing and declining both without even asking us as he wanted to not take away from family vacation 

- chase begging to go home a night early but then actually being ok with it when we said no

- beauty and how much she has fallen back in love with her brothers ( and us ! ) and so much closer to us all on this vacation . Love that girl so. It won't last but we are seeing it more and more often :)

- the relationships between the three little bears is so sweet 

-endless debates and talks 

- god i am so much less annoyig when i am quiet. I need to constantly remind myself to just shut up!!

- hubby and him reminding us of husband on show 

- hubby little thai dance on pizza night and fake smile ( intention of the day !!! )

- kids leave tonight at 8pm and we have one more night and day alone . Sad to see them go. And a little happy too to have one last day on our own .

And it is still always a little shocking to see the three of them  drive off in our car away from us and back into their own lives . Always shocking to see that car pull Away without us as the drivers 

- was truly an amazing family vacation . So glad despite all the schedules and jobs away and more exciting opportunities for kids ; we made it happen. This week is worth its weight in gold 

If i could give any advice to a family it is spend a week together twice a year minimum . The proximity is good for the souls and relationships as chaotic and messy as it often is 

As the kids leave - as the vacation ends and the good weather ends up windier and colder on our last day  full of rain , i feel so grateful for these frozen moments in time . 
That's  what it feels like really time freezing . Standing still for our family and our moments 

And today i feel my restlessness creep back in . Reality starting to take grip . The lists and plans , the work, fixing broken phones and ipads and washing school uniforms . Projects to plan and business trips to take . Excercising and disciplined eating . Getting on a scale after 3 weeks of indulgence and bad news to break to a child tonight . Deadlines and decisions . Feelings to handle and scheduling chaos. Work work and work which I love but is also extremely demanding of course 

And it is all bittersweet as those times are not frozen- they are the moments in between that make up what we call life .
 And we wait with baited breath until  the next frozen time  ; the next vacation ; the next cocoon where we shut it all out and create even bigger moments together .

Run . Recover . Run . Recover . Run some more . Recover 

Life should always be a series of sprints . I don't believe in marathons .