It chokes me up already to look back on pictures from this weekend. My babies will never again be two and a half and six months old and we will never get that time back. Our second annual family trip to Lake Chautuaqua was just as good as the first- blessed with family, good food, nice weather and lots of time to relax together.
The uninterrupted time we were able to spend with each other was the single most important part of this vacation. We felt it last year and again this time around- being in Bemus Point, NY just changes you.
Lilly became the mini porch ambassador. She made friends with all the old folks staying at the hotel and very much enjoyed being the center of attention. Anyone’s lap would do for telling her stories and she was more than pleased to show off every new dress and hairstyle upon opening the screen door. She said goodnight and good morning to everyone that would listen and was never short on smiles.
“Where’s Lilly?” the people would ask.
“What a lovely new dress Lilly.” “What are your plans for the day Lilly?” “Will you come sit with me Lilly?” She ate it up- big time.
There is time to see these special moments. Time to watch my husband play with the littlest loves of his life. Time to listen to all the little thoughts inside Lilly’s head. Time to think. Time to sit quietly.
The porch of Hotel Lenhart lends itself particularly well to enjoying this spectacular view. Clear skies and calm water, breezes blowing in, we were able to truly unwind and take a breath of fresh air.
Ever fascinated by the boat dock, Lilly decided on requiring ample time to “dock” herself, laying down on the wood planks to relax. “I want to dock Mommy” was a constant demand- one I was more than happy to oblige.
Miss Grace, once again, struck a chord with every single person we met. Her sweet little smile and big brown eyes were ready and willing to accept all the curious eyes, all the questions about helmet and the compliments on her good behavior. Everyone wanted to see her and touch her little hands. She was built for rocking-chair life, make-friends-with-the-porch-people life, hang-out-in-the-breeze-all-day life. Always content to sit in PapPap’s lap and rock.
Chautauqua Institute was a place quite unlike any other I have ever experienced. A little bubble of perfection in the middle of a pretty perfect place. We wandered around admiring the architecture and grandeur of a different era, letting my almost potty trained water bug play in the lake in her new big girl “unders”. Not needing diapers is a semi life changing experience.
I can do many things, but deny this girl ice cream? Never.
Lilly got her very first big girl necklace- a little penguin trinket Haley and I found while shopping in town. Meant only to distract her during meltdown prone dinner time, she is in love with the little gold chain, very careful with it, and very serious about taking care of it. We don’t sleep in it or put it in our mouth- and she very carefully lays it on her dresser every night.
P.S. How cute it that little hoodie dress?! I found it for $3.00 at a thrift store and couldn’t resist the little flowered ruffle at the bottom and inside the hood. It was a perfect lake dress.
Perhaps one of my favorite captured moments of all time. The three people that make up our little family, sharing a special quiet moment on the porch.
These sandy, diaper-less, cheeks are almost too cute for me to even handle.
I love watching the relationship Lilly has with her Aunt Haley change and grow. They are almost like siblings, antagonistic and sassy, but Lilly adores her Aunt and wants to be just like her- sharing hair bows and watches, following Haley around like a little duck. Every now and then Lilly needs reminding that Haley is the boss- she forgets sometimes!
Enter Lilly’s boyfriend, Blake. Just look at those stars in her eyes. It’s love, people.
On our final morning at the lake, Lilly parked it right there and told anyone who would listen, “I’m havin’ a bad day.” She didn’t want to leave.
And she discussed it with each and every new friend she had made.
A big thank you to my father in law for making this trip possible for all of us. There is nothing more important to me than making special memories with my girls.
Oh, common. You didn’t think we got away with no meltdowns, did you? No one is that perfect 😉