I think labeling this year as “wild” is something we can all agree on universally. I doubt there is a person who would challenge me on the thought that 2020 has been the furthest thing from normal. Like many, how I thought this year would unfold has had to constantly be reshaped as the months went on. Now all of a sudden it’s October, and yet in some ways it still feels like March. I’m a different person than I was at the beginning of quarantine, but in the most relaxed way possible.
Everything around me seems to be falling apart, yet this past summer has given me a peace I haven’t felt in a long time. A chance to exhale and not completely stress about the future, because no matter what I try to do, everything and everyone around me seems to be in a similar position of feeling stuck, and for some reason it’s OKAY, it has to be, because we can’t do much else.
I feel settled with the unknown. While I’m still excited about the future and next steps, I’m reminded consistently that the timing of it all, as much as I plan, isn’t entirely up to me. And this year has taught me to be alright with that. In a year that has threatened anxiety in every way possible – I’ve felt a building peace with a mix of persistence. And I think part of that is due to the fact that I’ve gotten to be home this summer with family and close friends to ride out this crazy pandemic. I’m so thankful for our health and slice of paradise.
My family resides on one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes. We live in a small country town that is full of outdoor fun. We boat, swim, fish, and everything in-between. Summers are normally full of travel, but this year felt adventurous at home. 2020 gave us the gift of time to just be present and enjoy afternoons on the boat followed by nights under the stars and beside a warm fire. My work structure changed and it was one of the first times since starting college at 16 that I’ve felt completely free of any obligations. Here are some of my favorite moments.
LIFE ON THE LAKE
FOURTH OF JULY
We have the best neighbors! They threw a pool party and we enjoyed a day full of sunshine and one of the best fireworks display I’ve ever seen. Since most people were home this year for the holiday, the lake was full of fireworks in every direction. It was the perfect weekend.
ROAD TRIP UP NORTH
To get away for a weekend in July my family and I went on a road trip up north to Lutsen, Minnesota. We stayed in the Lutsen Mountains near Lake Superior. The views were spectacular. My siblings cliff jumped for the first time and we drove to the US/Canada Border.
FAMILY TRIP TO GRANDPARENT’S LAKE HOME
My grandpa and his sweet Marcie spend the summers in northern Wisconsin. In August we traveled to their lake home and spent a few days with them. They reside near Minocqua and have a beautiful place! We enjoyed visiting with them and exploring their lake property. It was definitely a highlight of my summer and I hope we get to do it again. They are the best hosts!
TIME WITH FRIENDS AND COUSINS
I LOVED getting to connect with friends and cousins that were also home this summer. Some of my favorite memories include tubing down Apple River, going to the Vali-Hi Drive-In, spending chill days on the boat with margaritas, bonfires and game nights, and so much more!
CELEBRATING MY PARENT’S 25TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY WITH “THE BLESSING” JULY 15TH
NANNYING MY COUSINS
Being home this summer presented me with the opportunity to nanny my cousins on my dad’s side of the family. I had the kiddos every other week, which was the perfect schedule! I had a blast getting to know them better and we spent time playing outside, having pool days, going to the zoo, and doing crafts and different projects. They’re the cutest and are just like my little siblings now.
My sister got a job this summer working with animals and there was the cutest cat for adoption. Abby just had to bring her home. We named her Hazel and she is ADORABLE! We are all in love. The vet thinks she is about two years old. She’s sweet and so playful. We’re obsessed.
WRITING MUSIC WITH MY SISTER
I’ve always been the music queen. Concerts are my hobby (dare I say addiction) and I love the way music has the ability to make one feel all types of ways. This summer my sister and I collaborated and wrote our first song together. We spent an afternoon and evening watching the sunset and dreaming up melodies. We titled the song “home.” It was a day that will stay with me forever. Maybe some day we’ll properly record and share it, but for now it’s ours.