Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bear Lake 2010

I have finally come to the last post about our summer adventures. I think subconsciously I have put off this post because I am still so grief-stricken about Mikayla's death.

Our week at Bear Lake is one of our favorites every year. Ryan's family began going there when he was one year old and it has become a time to spend with our family, building memories.

This year was no different. We had a wonderful week together. We laughed and we cried together. The end of our week was tragic and unbearable. We have grown closer together through this trial, but if I (or anyone else) could change things, I know that we would. We are still heartbroken but we are trying to move forward with faith.

I haven't known how to post pictures from the week without a dark cloud hanging over it all. In my mind I still can't seem to sort it all out.

All of that being said, I'm just going to do it. I love the relationships that we share with Ryan's family members and the ways that my kids get to bond with their cousins and aunts and uncles... So here are our pictures from our Harper reunion at Bear Lake this year.

Our favorite stop en route to Bear Lake is the Nutrition and Food Science Building at USU. They have the best ice cream in the world (I should know... I spent a good part of my college years there, participating in the taste panels for a free ice cream coupon) and it's a trip down memory lane for me. This year we even walked through campus. I still love that place!

The condos we stayed in (thanks to Ryan's parents!) had a fun playground area. The kids loved it!

Sophia with Ryan's Aunt Karen. Our kids get spoiled at Bear Lake!

Laughing with Grandma--it was so fun to see them get to know each other.

We were at Bear Lake during Raspberry Days and Olivia got to go on this fun trampoline. She had a blast!

Coleman with his haggle-tooth and Hayley. His tooth FINALLY came out during this trip... and the tooth fairy had to scramble to come up with the cash. He got a mix of different coins instead of a crisp bill :).

Cousin Jen did all of our toenails with bright colors and flowers. Can you tell which foot is mine?

One of the things our kids love the very most is the Jammy Walk with Terri and Bruce. It started years ago and has become a tradition. Grandma and Grandpa bought all of the kids sparkly glowy things and took them for a walk in their jams. They loved it!

These cousins LOVED being together.... here they are doing the chicken dance.

We had so much fun just being together... Here are Alyza and Hayley, Kristen, Sam, me, Sophia, and Coleman.

Ryan's aunt Cheri planned a bunch of Minute To Win It games... they were so fun! I thought we had more pictures (the game trying to get an Oreo from our foreheads to our mouths was particularly funny... but I think we all took video instead of photos... oh well!).  I rocked this one!

Traci, Terri, and me.

We can't miss the raspberry shakes... we like to get the at the Quik-N-Tasty... raspberry lime is the preferred flavor... and we love eating in the wagon. We usually go a few times during the week.

Bruce and Terri rented these fun surreys that we rode into town for yet another milkshake. There is no such thing as too much ice cream.

We had a great family home evening together and shared some wonderful family experiences and testimonies.

Out of the whole family, only two cousins were missing. Pretty impressive.

Meals were always fun... we took turns cooking and scrounged up any tables we could find so that we could sit together.

We had lots of fun treats.

We also made a stop at the Bear Lake Pizza Co. All of the other cousins went in on the "Old Ephraim" 28 inch pizza.

We opted for a smaller pizza on our own... it was delicious! We had Ry's cousin Brooke with us. Our kids love, love, love their cousin-aunts and uncles (Ryan's cousins).

Of course we spent as much time as we could at the beach. The weather was a little chilly the week we were there and included a few rainy days with threats of lightning, but we enjoyed the sun while we could!

Uncle Eric brought up a boat (thank you!) and took the kids on some fun rides on the water weenie.

Liv decided she was done, so she bailed...

...and the boys kept on going. I think they would have ridden all day long if they had been allowed!

John and Cheri brought up their jet skis... another Bear Lake favorite.. Liv wanted to drive on her own, but that won't happen for a good few years :).

We always take a lot of pictures at Bear Lake, but this year we felt really strongly that we should do family photos. We even tried to color coordinate (sort of :)).  Ryan was great to take so many, and we had a great natural backdrop of the lake and the mountains. The sky even cooperated and gave us some interesting clouds.

Ryan's parents and all of their cute grandkids.

Dogpile on Grandpa!!!

Ryan's parents and their four kids... Traci is on the left, Scott and Ryan in the back, and Tim on the right.

Ryan's family---parents, kids, spouses, and grandkids.

I have put our great family photo as the new blog header... but I thought this one was funny. Bruce is a photographer too... so we thought we were in good shape having him snap the photo.  Loved his hand, the trigger, and the tripod leg in the frame.

Most of the little girls... we missed getting Alyza in this, but these girls are so cute!  Sophia, Faith, Olivia, Lucy, and Mikayla.

And finally, our whole group.  I mentioned above that we were missing two of Ryan's cousins (we missed you Kimberly and Justyn!) but otherwise the whole family was there.  I am so grateful that we got these family photos.

Most of the group went home on Friday, and we (Ryan's parents, his siblings, and our kids) planned to stay until Sunday.  Saturday around noon Mikayla's accident occurred.  We ended up packing up quickly to come home and be with Tim and Laura.

Bear Lake will be forever changed, as we are forever changed by what happened. I am grateful to know that during Mikkie's last week she was surrounded by so many people that loved her so much. I don't know what future trips to Bear Lake will be like. I am sure they will be hard, but I believe they will also be full of good memories and opportunities to feel gratitude for the time that sweet Mikayla was with us.


Sara White said...

I am glad you wrote this post. What a great week you were able to spend with your family. I am so sorry it ended with a heart break. I love all the family photos and know for sure that you were inspired to take them. What a great family you have!

Rockelle said...

My heart just breaks reading this Lisa....I am glad you shared...the grief will never fully go away, but you have to keep trudging ahead.
Beautiful beautiful pictures...I am thinking that next year I may have to come to Utah and have Ryan take my family pictures too. Yours is AMAZING!!!!!!

Kristi said...

Those family pictures are priceless. What a neat experience for everyone to be all together. I'm sorry that it had to end so tragically. I am sure that sweet Mikayla is close by and would love to see everyone still carry on the tradition! I have periodically checked in to Mikayla's mom's blog and it truly breaks my heart to know all that you are going through. Love to your family!!