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When we went to Calgary, I decided to do a little mini vacation and spend some time in Banff. Moving forward, this is going to be a must! We left E and Maeve with Conor's sister, Liz (THANK YOU!) and spent 2 nights with Holly, Greta and Ira. On our first day, we hiked Tunnel Mountain and enjoyed sweeping views of Banff. The Canadian Rockies are ridiculously beautiful!

Our third annual Coulee City, Banks Lake trip! We love this summer trip! It's so low key and basic. I hope to return in a cooler season to do some family hikes. But at this phase and season, our days were swimming and napping the babies. The first day we arrived, the area was pretty smokey but by the next morning the smoke had cleared. E loved crawling through the water. The day use beach at Steamboat Rock State Park is so awesome because it's shallow for a long ways and the sand is so soft!

Our second day we played in the water in the morning, ate lunch and napped the babies, and then played again in the late afternoon before eating dinner in Electric City. A couple of important things we forgot were the baby carrier for Ira, sand toys, and E's floatie. We packed a paddle board but never took it out because the effort that required was beyond us.

Our last day was overcast, chilly with some rain. The kids still got in the water and so did I. Then we had our lunch by the playground and returned home. Vacations/trips with five (FIVE!) children are no joke, but I think they're worth it.

Here are our past vacations at Banks Lake. There's something super special about repeating a vacation with E.

As you can imagine, two babies makes just about everything more challenging. That includes yard work. When Conor mows the lawn, he often puts E into the backpack carrier. One evening we were all outside, pulling weeds and doing some cleaning up. (Maeve was making a bouquet - we all have our part to play) And this is how we did it. Enoch in the carrier, Ira in the bumbo, pulling weeds until one or both of the babies are yelling, "stop!" Upon reflection, I would say that our family has learned a lot about team work in a family. We all have our selfish moments/days but generally we're doing alright at pitching in and lifting together!

This weekend was for little trips and nap times for the babies. We went to Corbin park just across the border in Idaho and swam in the warm river water and jumped off cliffs. And then we went to a local burger joint for lunch! It was a delightful adventure that was just right.

We learned how to play pickle ball while we were at the lake. The sound of the paddle on the wiffle ball makes a very satisfying "thwack." I really liked playing pickle ball and I hope our family plays more of it! Some final pics of our trip. Thankful for our summertime memories.

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