Every year of my life I’ve spent the second weekend of June at the Lake of the Ozarks. It’s our family reunion and undoubtedly one of the best weekends of the year. We swim, we fish, we eat, we drink, we laugh a lot. The memories I have from this reunion over the years are special to me, and I love that my kids are getting to experience it now. Just today I was thinking how proud my grandparents must be to know that this tradition has carried on without them…and that 18 of their great-grandkids have a love for “the lake” now too.
Great grandkids like this one who caught a fish within seconds of putting her line in the water. (Disclaimer: This is an optical illusion. The fish was MUCH smaller than he appears!!)
I vividly remember standing on a dock doing this very same thing when I was little. Apparently kissing fish is genetic.
One of the only things I don’t love about the lake–sharing a room with Nash! Not only does he NOT like being in a pack-n-play, but he can crawl right out of the darn thing…and up onto our bed. Let’s just say sleep was hard to come by. Hence the 4pm pool nap this guy took…
Luke. He has no personality whatsoever 😉
Once again, my sister did a great job of organizing games for the kids. This one was a fan favorite…especially when someone missed the bottle.
Did I mention sleep was rough??
The cannonball contest was everyone’s favorite, and I’m sure you can see why. My dad was proud to defend his title of cannonball champion…2 years and counting. I mean, check out that form in the bottom center 😉
The six amigos….all looking in the same direction, and almost everyone smiling. It’s a miracle!
If there’s one lesson I learned while at the lake, it’s that a 19 month old does NOT need a fishing pole. Even without a hook or bait–Nash still managed to use it as a weapon. Eeek! Maybe next year, bud…
I’ve always heard that the “firsts” without a loved one are the hardest, but it turns out that the seconds are just as hard. I missed my brother so much over the weekend. I felt like he could’ve shown up at any minute…talking baseball, eating Easy Cheese, convincing us that we needed to rent a boat for the day. Oh what I wouldn’t give.
But in the spirit of choosing joy, I’ll set my focus on the ways that he was there.
Until next year, lake…
Holy cow what a fun time!! I love the games for the kids (and adults too). Way to go Arden for catching a fish. Time spent with family always goes by too quickly, but is so much fun.
I love the optical illusion fish! Such a fun family tradition, who doesn’t love time spent on the lake. I’ve always preferred them to the beach personally.
Beautiful lake weekend and family time. I’m sure your brother was shining down on the event!
Wow, looks like a fun time. I’ve never been to the Lake of the Ozarks!
So beautiful Vanessa…the trip, the spirit of it all and the time together. Lake time really is special, isn’t it? I think there is something magical about the water or something. I personally even like it better than the beach. Love the fishing photos, and I completely relate on the fishing pole as a weapon 😉
Silex in the City says
I love the Lake of the Ozarks! Looks like a great tradition. The loss never does seem to get easier, does it?
Sarah S. says
Such great photos of a wonderful looking trip! Your brother was definitely there in spirit and I bet he was watching alongside your grandparents and loving every minute of the time you all spent together.
Looks like an amazing weekend that would fill your memory and love tank up for a good while! Love the pictures. Also, the games sound so fun!
What fun memories for your kids to have and such a special place for you to remember great times with your brother! Lake times are the best times! The kids look adorable as always!!!
Oh girl- kissing that fish?? no no no no lol. I love to fish- as long as someone else baits my hook, and touches the fish, and cleans the fish…and then I just get to eat it way later. lol!
I love that you guys have this tradition! It looks like you guys had the best time!
Liz | Ellie And Addie says
This looks like the absolute best time ever! And I love pool games, they are always so much fun!
I don’t think I was cut out to be a fisher, unhooking a fish is my least favorite thing to do lol. What a wonderful family vacation.
Love those cannon ball pictures! My Dad is 60 & he did the slip n slide with Cash over the weekend! Those Dads of ours!
Laura Keenan says
Gah, what a perfect weekend! Arden kissing the fish is adorable! I’m sure big family events & traditions like that will always be difficult, but also a wonderful time to remember such fond memories!