Some things I loved about my vacation:
14 - Coming home to a full DVR and an evening of Sunday night TV. Please, how great is that?
Also this stuff:
13 - Daily coffee on the porch with my grandma.
12 - My son not wearing shoes for a solid week. Or me make-up. Except at the restaurant, both of us. But that's it.
11 - Cuddling tiny foster nieces and nephews. Delicious.
10 - Proud little fisher people coming back from the boat trip with Beepaw reporting their catch.
9 - Driving winding, pine-tree lined, lake-skirting roads blasting the new Fun. album with little voices shouting/singing along (and also editing for content, e.g., “We are VERY young, so let’s set the world on fire!; “What have we done, oh my GOSH…”)
8 - Gluten-free recipe exploration with my beautiful 10-year-old allergy-ridden niece.
7 - Swimming and fishing dogs. Adorable. I mean, really.
6 - Dinner eaten outside, and made entirely from food picked 2 hours ago, 20 feet away.
5 - Sister blow-out fight. OK, not fun, but a staple of our family, and good to be together and baring broken hearts. Forgiveness. Longevity. Ups and downs. Phew.
4 - Annual Pie Contest: Seven entries, two by unassisted kids, three by adult-assisted kids, and winner from non-bakers who constructed their incredible pie with a diagram and amazing tasty brainstorming ingenuity not limited by training and experience. 2012 VanVonderen Family Pie-Bake Off Champions: Vincent, Jason and Callie Hanson, S’more Pie. (photo pending)
3 - When it all gets to be too much for Great-Grandma, she takes her kindle to her room and lays down on her good ear. Solved.
2 - Kids and cousins: bows and suction-cup arrows, time travel space exploring pirate ships, pool slide wrapped around a tree in the forest, four-wheeling, blackberry picking, marshmallow roasting, hide and tag and barefoot pack mentality, smudged with dirt and kissed by sun and smelling of bugspray, sunscreen, heat and happiness. (OK, sneaked more than one into this one)
1 - Hours on a raft in the middle of the lake. Soft breeze. Laughing, screaming, splashing kids somewhere nearby. Warm sun and stillness. Diving in again to the cool, dark deep. Rinse and Repeat.