Posted in Slice of LIfe

Summer Fun: A Slice of Life Post

 

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Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with another Slice of Life Post. We have just returned from our vacation on Torch Lake. So as I’m writing this, I’m also doing a boat load of laundry. 🙂

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Sunset on Torch Lake with the fam!

 

We stayed at the cottage most of the time because the days were hot and it’s so nice to walk out our back door and jump in the water. I love Michigan summers. The humid days and the hot steamy nights. I love lying awake and listening to the waves lap the shore. And the sunsets! Oh, the sunsets are the most amazing thing. The yolk of the sun winking at us as it slides past the horizon, turning the sky gold and fuchsia while sinking further below the skyline.

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Sunset on Torch Lake (It was windy!)

Then there’s looking at the moon and sometimes you can see Mars if the sky is clear enough. Our earth is such an exceptional place and so many of us don’t appreciate it. We’re locked in our little lives, dealing with our day to day hassles and irritations that we forget to look at the sunset, or listen to the rain, or watch lightning streak across the sky.

We all need to stop and take a breath and look and LISTEN. Listen to the birds chirping in the trees, listen to the water breaking on the shore, listen to the night as we settle down for sleep. It brings such a sense of peace and we realize our problems don’t need to consume us. We can let go of them for a little while and just appreciate being here.

I love the wonder of nature and all its beauty don’t you? I hope I’m fostering a love of nature in my boys. I’m always pulling them outside to look at the moon and Mars. They see me taking pictures of the sunset. They look, but I don’t think they truly see. Well. Maybe they do. They just don’t see at the same time I do. 🙂

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This is my youngest’s contribution to my sunset photos. 🙂 He’s a photobomber!

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Posted in Holiday Posts

Our Torch Lake Vacation

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Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’m back today and I thought that I’d share with you some vacation tidbits. My family and I have just returned from our vacation at Torch Lake. We stayed in my in-laws cottage and I must say I love being by the water. Listening to the waves hit the beach is so calming and it just seems to clear my head.

It was at the cottage where I made a major change to my work in process, my coming of age novel. I was able to get 10,000 words done on the new draft. I know that doesn’t seem like much but remember I was on vacation so I wasn’t supposed to be writing. I was supposed to be taking a break. But do we writers ever take a break?

The reason I was able to write at all is because the weather has been less than ideal. We’ve had a lot of rain and wind, so hanging down by the beach hasn’t been high on anyone’s list. That’s okay though, we’ve still had fun!

Because the weather hasn’t been the greatest my boys have had to resort to playing some games inside. Lately, they’ve been on the hunt for zombies. It’s great to see them use their imagination. I listen to them when they don’t realize it and I always get a chuckle from their conversations. They’re just so cute and innocent. I love watching my boys enjoy themselves. They’re pretty good buds to begin with, but for some reason when we’re on vacation they just seem to click even more.

We took them miniature golfing. I thought this might be frustrating, especially for my youngest. He’s the sweetest little boy but he’s also very driven. He wants to master everything he tries right away and he gets frustrated when he can’t.  He won’t give up until he gets it right, even if he’s crying with frustration. I try and tell him that he’s got plenty of time. But he doesn’t listen to me. I’m just Mom, you know. 🙂 But this didn’t happen. Everyone was able to enjoy themselves and it was a great family day.

We love the Traverse City area, there just seems to be a lot of history here in the small towns along the coast of Lake Michigan. It’s interesting to see the old buildings along the shoreline and learn the history of them and their occupants. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve become interested in history. Isn’t that weird? I could have used that interest when I was in school.

I also feel that being on vacation improves my creativity. Being in a new place and having some new experiences is good for my brain. I also was able to do some research for my fourth Super Spies novel. I want to thank the Elk Rapids Historical Society for their help. They gave me some interesting tidbits that depending on how I use them may actually be the premise for my next story.

Next year we’re planning on taking a trip to Chicago and going to Shedd’s Aquarium. I can’t wait to do this. My boys love going to the zoo and feeding the sting rays. They also love watching the Universe channel especially when they’re doing a documentary on the ocean. They love learning about squids, sharks, and dolphins. And I must say that I enjoy it too. Mainly because I’m learning something new and I’m seeing the world through the eyes of my kids. It brings back that old desire to obtain knowledge.

In closing, I’d like to say I love all things about vacations, from the anticipation in the planning as well as the actual execution of that plan. We’re creating memories for our kids and I’m hoping they’re awesome ones. I know they are for me. 🙂

Thanks for taking the time to read my post today. It was one of those ramblings ones that I do once in a while.  I appreciate you taking the time to check it out, and if you’d like to leave a comment and share some of your vacation memories, please do. I’d love to read them. 🙂

Below are some candid shots from our vacation! 🙂


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Posted in Health

“Up North” in the Mitten State

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’m back today and I’m excited because this is the last week of school for my kids! They are ecstatic to get a break from the structure and to be honest so is Mom! 🙂

I’ve got all kinds of ideas for things that we can do this summer, zoo trips, beach days, and of course there are vacations. As a family we love the water and enjoy going “Up North.” For us that means going to the Traverse City area here in Michigan. We’ve vacationed there ever since the boys were born. They love the area and so do my husband and I.

There’s something to be said for the small towns that surround the Traverse City area. There are all kinds of unique stores and a lot of history in these tiny burgs.

One of these small towns is Leelanau. Sitting right on the shores of Lake Michigan it’s a small fishing community. The wind is brisk coming off of the lake, so it’s a great place on a warm day when you can’t get to the beach. It’s fun to go through the tiny stores and galleries in this town. It’s an old town full of history. And when you go down by the water there’s a store that sells fresh fish. We went there when I was pregnant with my first child and needless to say I couldn’t stay in that store very long.  The smell really got to me. 🙂

It’d be a great place for the setting of a story. Hmmm…

Another small town that I love to visit is Sutton’s Bay. Again they have some great shops to explore and I can wander for quite some time while my hubby and the boys play in the park. One of the things that I’ve noticed is that both of these towns have a variety of art galleries and it’s great to see the shores where you’ve walked in a painting or photograph.

There are other tiny burgs that deserve to be mentioned like Alden, and Elk Rapids, awesome communities that are right on either Torch Lake or Lake Michigan that sport cute shops and community events. Of course we can’t forget about Traverse City itself! It’s a great place to walk with the kids and see the sights; again, more great stores and art galleries. If you get a chance to be there during the Cherry Festival by all means do it. It can get a bit crowded, but they have the Blue Angels come every other year and they are a sight to see!

If you’re a wine drinker you’ll love the Traverse City Area. There are wineries everywhere and they’re always open for wine tasting. A fun adult thing that we have yet to do! 🙂 Wineries are pretty boring for the kids. 🙂

If there’s one place you must see it’s Torch Lake. The water is so clear it looks like you’re on a beach in the tropics. The water is also cold so it’s quite refreshing. Everyone gathers at a place called the Sand Bar. People come from all over to park their boats there. And then they get out in the water and play football or Frisbee or just float.  Everyone has a great time. There’s a small shop on Torch River that will even deliver a pizza to your boat. If pizza isn’t your style then there’s a pontoon boat out there with a grill on its deck and they sell burgers and dogs to anyone who wants one.

As you can see Up North is always a great time for us! I can’t wait until the weather turns hot and muggy and we’ll be on our way!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! Do you have any special vacation spots that you’d like to share? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!