Big Chip

Post (Big Chip) Weekend

Big Chip is the kind of place where, as a kid, you may pack your toothbrush and toothpaste but it's more a matter of habit than practicality since it never gets used. Same goes for shampoo, body wash, and anything else related to personal hygiene. You run around barefoot all day, indulge in freeze-pops, candy, and s'mores (depending on the hour), and wash off the accumulated layer of grime and stickyness by having another go in the lake. "Don't pack your good clothes!" my mom would warn every year. It's a place of sand, worms, dirt, and lake water, and somehow nothing around the place ever seems truly clean.

As an adult, a few things have changed. Vacation or not, I prefer to brush my teeth every day. Even if I don't get a shower in, you can bet I've put a can of dry shampoo to good use. I have good intentions when I pack that makeup, but usually only put on the foundation for it's SPF benefits. I pack 10 shirts too many (how many days were we up there again?) but end up rolling out of bed each morning to grab the same clothes I wore yesterday off the floor. They might be rumpled and have the smell of last night's bonfire lingering in them, but when today's schedule looks pretty much the same as yesterday's, there's not much use for clean ones.

Until the time comes to go home. Then you roll out of bed, throw some clean clothes on an otherwise unwashed body, and realize just how disgusting you really are. Somehow it takes the realization that you're leaving this place - trading lake country for your normal, city (ahem, suburban) life - to become desperate for a shower, your own bed, and a washing machine.

But while it lasts...

We made a quick trip this year, arriving early on Thursday and back on Saturday, but in a way that's the perfect amount of time with little kids. The only downside was the cold front that took over all day Thursday. I personally don't mind a day of downtime: reading, maybe a nap, a run into town, but with three little ones to entertain? They didn't quite know what to do with themselves. The big ones at least enjoyed the paddle boat. (Loling at thinking that Nolan would last longer than two minutes on there before trying to dive off into the water.)

Brooklyn: there's totes a tree in my face. Caden: you're welcome that I'm actually doing a normal smile for a picture for once. Nolan: I hate whatever has led me up to this point in life because wearing this stupid thing is the WORST EVER and I will now scream bloody murder anytime you come near me with this thing and its straps of death.

Brooklyn: there's totes a tree in my face. Caden: you're welcome that I'm actually doing a normal smile for a picture for once. Nolan: I hate whatever has led me up to this point in life because wearing this stupid thing is the WORST EVER and I will now scream bloody murder anytime you come near me with this thing and its straps of death.

At least the weather made it a good day for fishing, and the big kids also had a chance to catch their very first fish. Though it was a toss-up as to what was more fun: actually catching the fish or just throwing bread in the water.

Also: talk about a throwback.

Then, because these kids are Minnesotans, dammit, they decided that they'd had enough of just looking at the water and to hell with this 60 degrees in the middle of July nonsense, we're just going to go in this lake, swimsuits or no.

I am happy to report that the next day turned around for us

If we floated a steady supply of snacks out to them, they probably could have sat there all day.

If we floated a steady supply of snacks out to them, they probably could have sat there all day.

Livin that #lakelife.

Livin that #lakelife.

Learning the fine art of s'more making. (Graham cracker. Dark chocolate. Two marshmallows (toasted brown, maaaybe to the edge of burning for that extra crunch). Graham cracker. EAT.)

And then the time came to head home. The most beautiful of mornings, of course.

Which meant...

...we just couldn't resist...

...one more dip.

And since swimsuits were packed and everyone who participated was under the age of four, underwear, diapers, and bare bellies worked just fine.

And...

...a stop to see Ole the Viking on the way out of town. Caden could not get over the fact that he had a spear. His life’s goal is now to be a Viking, probably.

Maybe I'll learn my lesson next year and leave those pesky toothbrushes at home. Until next summer, Big Chip!

Big Chip 2016

One Good Day (aka Day One)


{Mom and dad are running around like crazy, packing up ALL OF MY THINGS, and all I want to do is swing.}



{Arrival: ready for action.}


{Life jackets: also handy for kid control.  Who needs a leash?}



{You have fun in that 52-degree water, daddy.  Imma stay right here with my camera, a good book, and a baby.}







One Rainy Day (aka Day Two)


{Not needed.  Whomp-whomp.}


{So...coloring?  I was informed that the above was a portrait of Caden.  Given that it looks like a scribbled whirlwind/tornado, I'd say that its accuracy level is high.}



{Rainy day don't care.  Okay that didn't rhyme.  But this guy didn't care.  Wash-outs are better with cute babies.}



{Who take rainy-day naps on big-person beds.}


{Rainy days also = a visit to the winery.  My fave was the You Betcha Blush, doncha know.}


{First time bellying up to the bar.  We start 'em young up here.  What happens at the lake stays at the lake.}
{Well, until your mom puts it up on her blog.}

One Perfect Day (aka Day Three)


{Feeding fish.  Fun fact: they enjoy Ritz crackers almost as much as toddlers do.  Almost.}


{You're welcome, fishy, fishy, fishies.}


{All the heart eyes.}



{It's called a Lily Pad.  As the below photos will show, the kids absolutely hated it and no one had any fun at all.}







{Nope, no fun at all.}



{"I dwive?  I dwive it?"  Oh yes, he drove it all right.  "I dwive boat!  I dwive boat!"}






{Noon = margaritas.  I love lake time.}



{"My turn!  My turn!"}


{First time dipping his toes into Big Chip.  HE LOVED IT.}


{At the very least, he didn't hate it.  Unlike the Caden and Brooklyn of two years ago.  One more sign of his absolute mellow-ness.  Chalk it up to being baby #3.}



{Trying to figure out sand.  And the sunlight glinting off the water.  Mind = blown.}

Day of Departure


{"We're going to go back to our blue house!"  Caden: "No blue house.  Big Chip!"  Brooklyn:  "No bye-bye!  I Big Chip!"}


{Breakfast on the way out of town.  I remember stacking condiments during this yearly breakfast, too.  Glad to see that the tradition has carried on.  We can call this a family tradition, right?  An event that happens annually?  Sounds like a tradition to me.  No matter how weird it might be.  It's all part of the Big Chip experience.}


Big Chip 2015

Some posts don't need any words.

(Okay, except for a few in parentheses.  You know I can't resist.)



(After doubting that they would ever dare to go near the cold lake water, (i.e. not bath water temp pool water they are used to), Caden and Brooklyn immediately proved me wrong by running right in the first day, and never looked back.)

















(Beer?  Who, me?)



(Lots 'o lovin to go around.)


(And skeptical looks.)



(And these two starved.  There was absolutely no food to go around and they never ate anything.  Ever.)


(*Sarcasm alert!*)





(Also, nobody wanted to play with them and Caden and Brooklyn got absolutely no attention whatsoever.)

 

 

(*Double sarcasm alert!*)






(Definitely voguing for the camera already.)














(But the most LOLs of all were had by throwing hair products into the water.  Because the bottles float.  Get it?  I dunno...seriously, I think this was the most fun they had the entire trip.)






 

 



(This picture sums up how they felt by the end of the trip.)


(In other words, it was a perfect time at the lake.)


The Fourth/Second Reception/Big Chip Mega Post!

So we were gone for a 1 1/2 weeks again (for the last and final time this summer!) for the Fourth/second wedding reception/my family's annual vacation to Big Chip.

(If you are a picture-hater, this post is not for you.)

While we were many different places and did a lot of different things, I did notice one theme running through all of the photos I took...


Babies... 


...asleep...


...everywhere...


...anywhere.


Oh.


And the big people, too.

(Click below for more...much, much more...)

The Fourth of July featured some cute babies wearing their Stars and Stripes.










(Wearing and/or tasting those stars and/or stripes...)




(Delicious.) 



(I have about 40 photos of Caden with this same blank expression.  Like, "No woman, I shall not indulge your whim of taking photos today.")


(The only photo I have of him semi-smiling.)







Twins holding twins!


Next up: the second reception, where you might have thought we all coordinated our clothing on purpose...




And while getting dressed up is all well and good...




...this is much more my speed.


(Being up at the lake is exhausting.)

Also, nobody loved these babies and they never got held at all:


Exhibit A


Exhibit B


Exhibit C


Exhibit D

Exhibit E


Etc.


Etc.


Etc.

Mommy and Daddy even occasionally got to hold them, too.






(And have a well-deserved cocktail when off of baby-duty.)

And, as evidenced by the absolute LENGTH AND NUMBER OF PICTURES in this post already, Big Chip is the perfect time for family photos:




(Anchor prints everywhere!)








Babies did NOT AT ALL EVEN A LITTLE BIT enjoy having their footsies dipped into the lake.



But I did.




As Tyson said, when we were going through photos last night...



"Wait, why did we leave?"