After my hospitalization and true heart to heart with my oncologist about the reality of my new situation. We decided to change our summer trip to something more meaningful. Every summer we try to pack up my car and head out…away from the heat and towards adventure. We’ve been so grateful to have the summers to do this with Evan and my jobs.
For this summer, we re-routed to my happy place, Northern Michigan and to see family on my mom’s side. As soon as my oncologist gave me the go ahead, I packed up my giant bag of medicine and supplements and we hit the road.
Our first stop was in Kentucky, we had wanted to visit the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum for some time but never made the stop. When we found out that kids were free all of 2021 and Evan was free on Father’s Day we knew God was opening a door. The Ark Encounter was absolutely incredible… so massive, so intricate, so real. We learned about so many facts in history and creation. We walked away in awe of what He can do.
The Creation Museum was mind blowing, our children learned so much. In such a secular world, it was refreshing to be reminded of how we all came to be. How this world was beautifully designed with every single detail in mind.
We then traveled north to see cousins in Ohio, the 55 degree temps and had all the amazing vibes with our cousins. They are truly life giving, we could talk for hours and hours.
The #upnorth feels happily navigated us to Pure Michigan, where we picked up my momma from the airport and met up with friends in Lansing. The downpour and puppy in the car encouraged us to keep moving north to the top of the mitten.
We spent a week in Northern Michigan, enjoying all the beaches, our feet in the sand, invigorating waters of Lake Michigan, homemade meals, front porch sitting, rain storms, cherry picking, gardening, baking, wineries and lots of belly laughs.
I love the atmosphere my mom and her sister, my beloved Aunt Jenn create together… hilarious, soothing, magical… they make me feel like home. Being at my Aunt Jenn’s house in Northern Michigan is absolutely my happy place. I love that I can be baking and see my girls running with their imaginations on their 5 acres of land. I love that my phone doesn’t work and that there is no dishwasher. I love that we stay up til the wee hours of the morning telling stories and catching up. I love that we sip our coffee on the porch until almost lunch time. Time moves slowly there. Everything seems better there. Henley our little social, happy butterfly created the sweetest bond with Aunt Jenn. Both girls seemed enamored by Uncle Joe in his garage full of tools. They both learned a thing or two about fixing a car and fixing a bike.
Evan and I celebrated our 10th anniversary up north, we were able to go on a Deep Lake Fishing tour. We each caught 3 fish, some giant Lake Trout...which we had sent up to the fishery to process and then sent up to the restaurant to cook. Delicious! It was a gorgeous day celebrating our marriage in Leland, MI.
We got to visit Charlevoix, MI one of our favorite towns on our anniversary day... we beached, we swam, we soaked in the misty Northern air, we ate pizza, we had ice cream, we lived that day to the fullest. On our last night we had our famous beach dinner. We show up early, we swim, we talk, we toast to life, we make a fire and stay until all the stars are out. The stars sparkle brighter there. We listen to the waves crash on the shore. It truly is an escape.
Our hearts were heavy and tears streamed down our faces as we hugged, one week is never enough but we had to keep the road trip going.
We drove down state to visit my mom's best friend from diapers who has a daughter I have known since diapers... pretty cool having three generations together before leaving Michigan.
Indiana for a 4th of July gathering with my Uncle Jeff’s family. It was full of fun, we packed loads of laughter, games, and catching up into 3 days. The cousins were happy as pie just being together.
It was hard to navigate my chemo side effects while on vacation, but being with family always makes things better. We drove home having no idea one of the biggest surprises of our life awaited.