The Best.


My brother texted me earlier this week and asked me when I was going to write a blog post about our family's trip to the lake house in Texas.

I said I'd get to it eventually and asked him why he wanted to know.
"Because I like it when you blog about our family," he said.

That, my friends, is why I blog. New followers are always fun, and the $1.76 a month I get from Google ads buys me a chai at Starbucks every now and again. But one of the best parts of blogging is knowing that my family enjoys it.

So, Austin, this one's for you.

When I say we went to the lake house, I always feel like I need to clarify that this is my aunt and uncle's lake house that they kindly let us borrow. I don't want to give you the wrong impression. My parents don't own a bunch of extra houses. There's just the one in Italy, but that's it I swear.

Our weekend at the lake was a last hurrah to summer and a celebration of my brother's graduation from his master's program. Master's of social work! Holler. 

Daniel was a little sad that he graduated in the middle of the summer and didn't get to walk, so my mom got a cake made and dug out Daniel's old cap and gown from Moody, and we had us a mini graduation ceremony with yours truly playing "Pomp and Circumstance" on the violin.
^^"Okay, now take Pioneer Woman's cookbook and pretend you're handing him a diploma." Good one, Mom. BUT IT LOOKS SO CANDID.

My sister and I shared a bed, so that was a fun blast to the past. Saturday morning, we woke up to this:
Yes, please.

Earlier in the week, my brother had sent a group email to tell us that he had a "project" we were going to do. When we asked what it was, all we got was "it could get messy." We were all a little scared that he wanted us to play the raw egg game again.

Turns out, the project was painting a canvas! No raw eggs needed. Austin had gotten a black canvas and acrylic paint at Hobby Lobby. He'd brought enough paint for each person to have their own color, and he wanted us to take turns spilling paint on the canvas so he could have a piece of art to hang up in his new classroom. (He just graduated from college and is going to be a math teacher!) 

My dad got the color pink because he was the last one to pick. You snooze, you lose, Dad. Literally.
We laid the canvas on a garbage bag before we started, and my mom made a pretty big deal about how we weren't supposed to get any paint on the grass.

And then on her first squirt, she missed the canvas completely and sprayed the grass with purple. So that happened. It was hilarious. The final product was really cool, and I wish we had more canvases, because I want to make one now! Such a fun idea.
After that, we set up a ping pong tournament. 

And by tournament, I mean my brother beat everyone per usual, and I got smoked 11-21 in the only game I played and swore to never touch a paddle again as long as I live. Or until the next time we go to the lake.

After that, other stuff happened like jet skis and mega hammock and seeing Bigfoot. You know, the usual.

After we got over the shock of actually catching Bigfoot on camera (in case you were wondering, the film is currently with the FBI being verified for authenticity), we played bags. I'd be lying if I said the rage didn't come out a little bit when Jordan and I lost to my brother and sister-in-law. We were up SIXTEEN TO THREE and ended up losing 19-21.

Fun fact: I am not a very good loser.
I may or may not have stomped off the bags court in a blind rage. I have problems.

The pictures below are of my brother and sister. He's taunting her in the picture on the left and gloating in victory in the picture on the right. My family's not competitive or anything.

While at the lake, Jordan did some fishing. Last summer at our family reunion, he and my little cousin Brooke had a competition to see who could catch the most fish. I'm being nice when I say he lost by a lot. He didn't enjoy handing over his man card to a ten-year-old girl.

There was eating, of course. I would have taken a picture of the huge bowl of puppy chow, but I was too busy chowing it down. (See what I did there?)
And now, allow me to get cheesy for a moment. (Pun not intended with the cheesy lasagna in the above picture. That's just a happy coincidence.)

I'm so grateful to my parents for raising a family of children who genuinely have a lot of fun together. We have our moments like anyone else. I really don't want to paint the wrong picture. There were some this weekend too.

But we work through it and move on, and we're stronger for it.

These are my people.
My favorites.
The best.

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

So much fun! And so sweet that your family looks forward to your blogs.

Allison said...

Awww, this is great! Looks like you all had an amazing time!

Holly said...

You and your family warm my heart :) I love seeing all the fun you have together!!! I love my siblings and I am so incredibly thankful for them and we have a lot of fun together, too. My brother and I are becoming closer the older we get (he's a year and half younger) and of course now that I'm moving away we are super close and it's sad!! But when I see things like this, it almost makes me a little jealous thinking that my family doesn't do that kind of stuff. But we do, we just don't do it EXACTLY like that! Blogging is weird like that--makes you jealous but also grateful. I don't know.

Sorry for the rambling comment. Basically, this is a great post and looks like a fun time!!

Breenah A said...

Man, I want to be a part of your family!

Unknown said...

These are the best kind of weekends! My family has a lake house too, and I have so many good memories from spending weekends there. Now that we are older, it is hard to get everybody together at the same time. This just inspired me to make it my mission to get all my siblings to the lake this fall!

Cece @Mahogany Drive said...

Just the house in Italy!! Just? I totally laughed at that. What a fabulous weekend! I think MJ gets a kick out of reading about our vacations through my eyes too.

PAM said...

This is my second attempt at commenting, so if it's a repeat sorry. Loved this recap. Thanks for sharing. Truly makes my heart happy to read this. Thankful.

Beka @ Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

So so fun! I can't believe you call Jordan big foot. That's funny! Also, those hammocks are the best invention ever (for camping at least). I tote one around whenever we go camping and slap that thing up quick so I don't have to go hiking for a zillion miles =)

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

So sweet that he likes when you write about the family. Looks like such a fun place to go, and those hammocks are EPIC!!!

Tamara said...

Such great pictures! And I'm with Austin, I love it when you blog about your family. I didn't grow up particularly close to mine (so it's a goal to provide that for my daughter) so I love seeing other families actually do stuff together. It's awesome.

Also, UTA is the best. (Alumni what what!) Go Mavs!

Caroline @ In Due Time said...

Too fun!!! I love your family pictures - y'all clearly have a GREAT time!!! PS I might have missed it in the post, but which lake was this??? We keep saying we need to find friends with boats so we can go to the lake more, haha!

The Lady Okie said...

Ha! We don't call Jordan Bigfoot. It was a joke because in that picture he's kind of making the classic Bigfoot stance :)

Sarah said...

Well you guys are super fun, I want to come! Mainly to get in on that awesome hammock situation!

Susannah said...

Sounds like it was an amazing time! I love that your brother asked when you were going to blog about it. I love that he loves your blog! :-)

Kiki said...

Can I just join your family next time? That totally sounds weird but I love family weekends. My family and I are pretty close and I'm so grateful that we still (for the most part!) enjoy each other's company.

And I also love that your brother asked if you would blog about your trip. My family likes to ask me if I'll blog about trips and stuff like that, too!

Oh, and congrats to your brothers! A master's in social work is really cool and I give your other brother(?) major props for being a math teacher!

p.s. Do you have two brothers and a sister? I'm definitely bad at keeping track of things like that! :)

p.p.s. How did I not know you play violin? I play viola and always love finding bloggers who play string instruments! :)

Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous setting for a fun weekend with your people. I really want to hang out with your family, except I'm pretty sure I'm not nearly cool enough. I make tasty desserts though. Will that help me buy my way into the fun? :)


Unknown said...

This sounds/looks like so much fun! Adopt me? Please?

Oh, and I LOVE this painting idea!

Unknown said...

Can I just say, your family is wonderful and looks like a blast to be around! I love family traditions like going to a lake house. That painting idea is fabulous. I may or may not be heading to the dollar store today to find a black canvas.... weekend project?

Unknown said...

I loved this post!! What a fun time! Ok I don't want to sound creepy but your family sounds a little like mine with the competitiveness ha ha! One of my brothers almost always wins in bags and he gloats the whole dang time... So annoying! So when I do occasionally beat him I definitely run it in!:) that canves idea was awesome and looked like fun too!! Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Jenna Griffin | Gold & Bloom said...

I have soooo much to say about this post!
1. The lake looks sooooo peacful, holy crap. I wanna be there.
2. That lasagna looks noms.
3. I love the painting idea for your brother's classroom! How creative is that!?
4. Your family looks amazing, and I love the bigfoot picture.

I hope you're having an amazing weekend!

Rachel said...

Family adventures are awesome. And family who owns a lake house and lets you use it are also awesome. You know, my aunt and uncle JUST bought a cottage on an island in Michigan and told the whole family we can go stay anytime we want. Why exactly did they have to do that the summer we left? I'm sensing a conspiracy. Oh well--next time I'm in the USA, I'm going for sure.

Bailie @ The Hemborg Wife said...

I am seriously bummed none of my family members have extra houses for me to borrow, so rude of them!! I also love knowing that my grandma reads my blog and does give me a boost to share fun stuff we do!

Christina @ The Murrayed Life said...

I'm jealous of so many things here. You're close family (awesome!!), your brother's amazing graduation picture, and a lake in Texas with actual water in it!! Where was it?! We just went to Lake Buchanan this weekend and we had to walk a few hundred yards from our "waterside cabins" to get there. But really, I'm just always happy to see your posts about your family because I love awesome families. It makes me want to have lots of kids so that we can do things like this later on. :)

Kate said...

Can I be adopted by your family? I mean.. I LOVE my family, but I'm fairly certain I could love yours too.

Maybe we could work out a joint custody agreement? Yeahhh, I think that would be great. Let's do that.

Kristen said...

i love that your family loves your blog. so awesome! i want to go to the lake, and i love your sparklers photos :)

Jennifer Prod said...

um... amanda.... i have no idea what to comment right now because my head is exploding with all the awesomeness of this post - you play the violin, family canvas art, triple hammocks, huge smiles -- i dunno, maybe my comment is i want in on this. how do i join the fam?

Bethany Carson said...

The ping-pong tournament looks like a lot of fun! I played in the Iowa Games table tennis tournament and was crushed quite badly--still a great game! Mmmm...that lasagna looks awesome!

Amy said...

this looks like so much fun!
like so much freaking dang fun.
and i love that y'all call it "bags" hahahahahah. we call it "corn hole" here ;)
i love the three hammocks.
and the painting.
and the food.
and the fun!
i'm so glad y'all had a good time!

Tara said...

Your family is AWESOME! Seriously, the cookbook diploma had me cracking up. Love your pictures and all the craziness... my family is pretty crazy when we get together too, and we have the best time.

And I might be a little jealous of your jet-skiing! :)

Victoria said...

I love that your brother specifically asked for a post! The comments I get from my family about what I have or should blog about are always my favorite...My sister is always saying, "I just love reading about things we do together from YOUR perspective." I'm happy to oblige them!

Your family looks like it had a blast! I need to know more about this bigfoot sighting! Also, who got the bottom hammock?!??!

That canvas idea is great! What a fun thing for him to remember this special trip and time in his life. You know your Mom's mistake? That would have been me, for sure. I'm always advising caution and then managing to accomplish the exact thing I was trying to keep from happening. It's a talent, I tell ya!