We just got back from a week away with family in northern Michigan, fishing the floodwaters and celebrating Matt and his twin brother Todd's birthday. This place is really special to Matt's family, steeped with lots of tradition, and it's been really wonderful sharing it together and also with Max's dad and 2nd mama (our Jess and Sara)...and this year with Max's nana and papaw (Jesse's parents) in tow as well. One big beautiful mash of a family filling up on chilly mornings and Scrabble afternoons, swaying together in metal boats on calmest water--big family dinners and bunk bed nights and the craziest sky full of stars that you'll ever meet.

By the end of the week, Phoebe girl had made peace with the hot pink life jacket that she hated so much and Max had prided himself in trying and almost catching every species of fish in the water. These kinds of days away from home are the best kind for stirring up and easing down a restless summer soul...a reminder that a shaded hammock and a good climbing tree can trump just about anything.

cast and reel

hoping you all had a long and lovely labor day weekend. we sneaked away north for a few days to breathe in new air and fish the days away with family. northern michigan is just the most peaceful place...chilled foggy mornings and still afternoons and eat-your-heart-out sunsets and stars at night. bee poked fish eyes and max perfected his walkie-talkie voice and i think we all got lost a little in the sweet and slow pace of things. we came home with the sniffles and a new readiness to conquer this new season. three cheers for september! (bee and i found red fallen leaves on the ground yesterday while out on a walk...summer came and went so quickly here...)

the fishing hole

it's been a tradition for matt's mama's family to travel north to hillman, michigan to fish at fletcher's pond once a year. they've been doing it for decades now...starting when his mama was a little girl. this was me and max's first year going...and our very first fishing trip ever.
i was a little bit nervous, not knowing what kind of fisherman i would be. but the week turned out to be so much more than fishing...it was seeing sunrises and sunsets, family dinners around the table, evening hammock naps by the water, getting dirty without a care, watching my little guy gain a whole new confidence and sense of self. but more than anything it was about being together. totally present with one another.
i could go for another week of that soon soon soon.
matt and his twin brother todd were the best fishing teachers...me and max were real pros by the end of the week. or anyways, we had a wonderful time. even if we did catch more weeds than fish.
this is my northern pike! my very first catch.
i was going to name it and give it a back story until i finished reeling it in...and realized that pike don't like names. or back stories. they only like having scary teeth and squealing the worst sounding squeals and violently flopping about.
(and yes, that is a complete over-exaggeration...but this is my one and only big fish story...so...)
the incredible mr. limpet (i named him anyways) was too small to be a keeper so we kindly threw him back...back to live at coney island and help win WWII.
don knotts would surely not approve.

it was a beautiful trip...northern michigan is really something!
the stars are bigger than any i've ever seen before.
and the world gained a couple of new fisherman...

p.s. max wanted to tell you all a little bit about his trip!

from mr. max...dictated but not read.
matt teached me how to cast his pole. and i did learn how to cast his pole. when i went on the boat on my last day i caught a bass. and me and matt and todd and me and my mom we were so excited that i caught my first bass! and my mom caught a northern pike. and matt caught two bass. and i missed the place that i spent the day with. i can't wait to go there again next year. and i hope everybody that's already living there has a great time.


a boat beneath a sunny sky

we're packing up and headed north for a week of fishing in michigan. 
i've never really been fishing before...so an entire week of it has me a bit nervous. 
but i'm anxious to see what kind of fisherman gal i turn out to be! who knows...maybe i'll be a decent one. and at the very least, max and i can sit on the boat and give names and back stories to the grubs. 

i was going to take the week off of blogging, but i decided to stock pile a few odds and ends to share with you while i'm away...some camera and photo editing information, a closer look at my tattoos, and some of my summer favorite people and places and eats.

happy weekend, friends...and happy last week of july! 
wish me luck. i'm off to go make some cut off jean shorts. ack!