On Saturday night we met up at Troy and Sara's bus after worship. We were there to listen to Sara's new album that is coming out in the fall and I need you to know I ADORE this one. I love it so much. Just like I've loved ever other of her records. But get excited. I cannot wait for it to be released so I can tell you about each song. It's so, so, so good.

It meant we didn't get back to our own room until a little before midnight. I was pokey brushing my teeth in the black room by the light of my cell phone (our kids had been sleeping in our room with Mimi while we were gone) and Madison and Rory had already gotten into their own beds a while earlier. And then there was a knock at the door.

I opened the door and found a mom, asking if I had seen her 8-year-old son. She said they had just been to fireworks and Perkins and she knew he came in the building, but didn't make it up to her room. I assured her I hadn't seen him, but that if she was going to look outside I'd join her. She said she wanted to try the other rooms first, to be sure he didn't go into the wrong room.

I shut the door, and stood scrolling through instagram. And then with the light of my cell phone, walked over to my bed and in the dim light saw an eight-year-old boy sound asleep and spread out on my bed. I was so shocked! I flew to the door looking up and down the hallway for the mom. She was knocking on another door a few rooms over and I whisper-yelled, "Mam! He's in my bed! I had no idea!"

She came and scooped him up and said he had been getting our rooms confused all day long. She left with her son and then I was left with a room full of sleeping family and no one to tell, "There was a boy asleep in my bed!"

The next day I saw the family at the cafeteria and met the kid who had crawled into my lower bunk and made himself at home. He didn't remember any of it, but I will never forget. Also, he had blonde hair. Which pretty much makes him my personal Goldilocks.

family camp at lake geneva christian center

We just got back from a weekend up at Family Camp. Rory and his family grew up going to Lake Geneva for kids camp and family camp, while I was a few lakes over on Lake Carlos at Mount Carmel. This was my first time sleeping over at Lake Geneva and I was so excited to get to experience Rory's camp.

When we took the Osakis exit on Friday afternoon, it just happened that we caught up to Troy and Sara's bus that held both their and Kyle and Lisa's families for the weekend. I swear to you I turned into a fifth grader when I saw that bus. I was so excited to be going to camp and to run into family on the way made me a bit ecstatic.
I think the very best part about attending a family camp is all of the downtime to catch up and have meaningful conversations. I talked so much in the last three days, always switching it up depending on who I sat next to at mealtimes or found in the coffee shop or ran into on my way to the next thing. I got caught up with nieces and nephews this way too, which is always a joy. We ate most meals in the cafeteria and the only things scheduled each day were morning worship and evening worship, powerful times when the camp gathers together in the worship center.
Going to family camp with your extended family is basically like planning a family reunion where you don't have to plan much of anything. You just plan to play and laugh and talk and read and nap a lot. I can't recommend it enough. In a few weeks we'll head up to Mount Carmel for more family camp with my side of the family. We can't wait for more!

feeling fancy free

We have a sweet ritual to hit up the DQ right after my midwife appointments. The kids enjoy coming to my appointments and playing with the toys in the room, and then they love getting DQ mini strawberry sundaes and eating them outside at the umbrella tables. If we're lucky, a train goes by and blows its whistle.

I think I've named this three other times this month, but I'm going to do it again. We are in a sweet spot right now. I feel like I am getting a little vacation in motherhood this summer and it's awesome. My kids can get in the car and buckle up on their own (Ivar helping Elsie) now. They can dress themselves and put on their crocs. Everyone is out of diapers and naps are rare. More than being pregnant with either of them, I am so fully aware with this pregnancy of the goodness of this pocket of time and how everything will change come October. Then we'll be back to naps, diapers, heavy infant carriers, diaper bags, scheduled feedings and a very dependent little baby. And I'll be ready for it and in some ways eager to hunker down again with a tiny baby for the winter.

But in the meantime, I am savoring this summer and all the ways we are footloose and fancy free.

morning make-over update

At the beginning of June I wrote out my summer goals, one of which was to do the e-course to make-over my mornings. I have had a few friends ask how it is going, and this morning I finally wrote the following out to a dear friend in an email. And then I thought, "I should just put that on the blog!" So here it is, first written to Julie, now to you. :)


Funny you should ask about the morning make-over course, since I'm up right now at 6:30. That would make it seem like I'm really seizing the day! But this early email has more to do with funny sleep stuff from pregnancy and not falling back asleep too easily. The course itself was helpful for a while...I had a lot of take-aways more to do with my evening routine...things I can do to set myself up for a better morning. Like setting out my own clothes (age 34, and still drama), deciding on breakfast for everyone (a constant frustration, short order cook...) and trying to at least have the kitchen table cleared off before I go to bed. Those are my evening goals. In the morning I try to get dinner prepped (mostly just in my think about what I'll need to get done before 5:00) and those few little tweaks have helped me a lot.

That said, the girl who does the videos strikes me as quite put together, and as the days passed her intensity overwhelmed me with her personal wake-up time of 5 am, morning run, daily to-do list and ambitious daily goals. I've written about how I have finally let myself off of the hook this year of motherhood, letting myself "just be a mom." Everything out there would encourage every woman to have a side job or to build a platform or have an etsy shop, and someday I very well may have something else going on the side. But right now, when they're little, I'm just tired of feeling like I should be doing something more. So while the instructors suggestions were to have a passion and goals and something you're working towards that will get you out of bed each day, I sort of let myself off the hook thinking, "just get meals on the table and enjoy the kids..."

Also, I have been reading books this summer like never before. And late night reading really wrecks any hopes for an early and productive morning! But man these books have become a highlight of my summer.


I'll add this too: The course really ended up being more about goal setting and follow through, which are always fascinating topics to me. I even bought a new planner at one point. But in the end, I am left feeling quite fine with knowing my "big rocks" in this season are to feed my family, tend to the house and celebrate my kids. And I'd even add in, to nurture my own friendships. That's a big rock too. Building friendships and community is a huge deal to me, and a worthy goal to name.

a midsummer party

On Saturday we were invited to a friend's 5th birthday party. We met these friends at the library just weeks after we had moved to town. The mom and I bonded quickly because we had both just had a baby, both had just moved to town, and both were always twenty minutes late to library rhyme and time. We would chat in the back and congratulate each other on just getting out of the house that day. 

The mom threw this party with all of her knowledge from leading 9 years at the Swedish Concordia Language Camps. We learned a song in Swedish, collected flowers to decorate the May pole, made flower wreaths to wear on our heads and miniature May poles. And then we got strawberry cake. It was so charming and fun. 

At the party the mom explained that on Midsommer, everyone puts seven different flowers under their pillow, in hopes that they will have good dreams about the person they will marry. Ivar had been up for an hour that night before with a terrible nightmare. So when he heard that seven flowers under your pillow will bring you good dreams, he was thrilled. We saw my mom later that day and she gave him seven flowers. We told him he could set them next to his pillow on his nightstand and it would work just the same. And sure enough, Sunday morning he woke up and announced that had no bad dreams!