wisconsin vacation, part 1

We've been back from our family vacation in Wisconsin for 2 weeks now, and I've finally gotten around to sorting through the myriad photos and videos taken on the trip. I realized how much there was to share, so I decided to break our vacation recap up into two separate posts, one for each week of the trip! 

Our staycation with my side of the family was broken up by day, and each nuclear family was in charge of planning the activities for that day and providing one meal. Here's what we did! (Also, get ready for picture overload). 

Day 1 - the three younger sisters


We arrived midday, and immediately got the kids in the pool and spent the afternoon outside, hanging out with the family on my parents’ deck. It was so nice to be in the midwest where the weather was beautiful. Florida can really be unbearable during this time of year! And that’s coming from someone who loves the heat.

The activity for Day 1 was a bake-off, Chopped style. We divided into teams, and were presented with a table full of baking supplies, and each family provided a “secret” ingredient. You had to use 3 of the secret ingredients in your concoction. What resulted were some very creative, and very tasty desserts. (And one pudding dish that became the butt of our jokes for the rest of the week). We finished the day with board games and drinks after the kids had gone to bed.

Day 2 - Molly & Tim

Day 2 was a Sunday, we we began the day with church, where we took up almost 2 full pews. I can’t tell you how nice it was to have so many other adults in church where I could hand off my kids, and go nurse the baby in peace when he got hungry.

After worship, we changed into athletic clothes, and prepared for a picnic in the park in Downtown Milwaukee, which was supposed to be followed by a kickball game. Unfortunately, the skies opened in a surprise downpour right as we were about to start our picnic. We ate in our respective vehicles while waiting for the rain to stop. After checking the radar, we realized we were out of luck, so we took our kids home for a nap while the rest of the family took an impromptu walk on the lakefront while it continued to drizzle. Molly and Tim provided make-your-own burrito bowls for dinner.

Day 3 - Emily and Justin

Since we drove over 18 hours to join the rest of the family, my parents graciously assigned us an easy day - a Brewer’s game! We tailgated in the parking lot, and we provided the meat for grilling, and set up a game of cornhole for entertainment. My sister Liz brought her tent along, which was perfect for setting up the food and keeping the babies in the shade. We had great seats for the game, and my kids were more excited about the sausage race than the game itself. (If you’ve never seen the racing sausages at a Brewer’s game, you’re missing out!) It had been so long since I’d been to a professional baseball game, and I had forgotten how much fun they can be!

After the game, we stopped by Kopps, a Milwaukee hot spot for frozen custard, then headed back to my parents’ house to relax, pour a glass of wine, and play some more games together.

Day 4 - My Parents

Day 4 of the staycation was also the Fourth of July! We kept busy with plenty of activities. In the morning we walked to the parade, and were surprised to see Paul Ryan walking in our local parade! Pippa yelled, “Happy Fourth of July!” for about an hour straight, because she thought if she yelled it to the people in the parade, that meant they had to throw her candy. It basically worked.

After the parade, we grilled out at my parents and lounged around the pool, played some SpikeBall, and enjoyed each other’s company until it was time to walk to the middle school to view the fireworks. Both Teddy and Pippa somehow fell asleep during the loud display of pyrotechnics, and Lewis was wide awake and thrilled!

Day 5 - Liz and Brent

For the last day of staycation, we headed over to Liz and Brent’s house for an Olympics competition. We had a water balloon toss, flip cup, frisbee golf event, “bowling,” standing long jump, free throw competition, and an obstacle course. Spouses were paired together as a team, and the two remaining unmarried sisters teamed up (Annie had to head back to South Dakota to work). Justin and I ended up taking 2nd place, but I expect nothing more than first place next year when I’m not two months postpartum.

In the afternoon, the guys went to golf at the country club while the ladies and kids lounged around the house, showered, and just talked. We all went out to dinner at Cafe Hollander as our last meal, and out for ice cream afterward. It was the perfect end to our staycation.

Justin and I still had a few days remaining until his family’s vacation week started, so we went to the Milwaukee County Zoo, the Jelly Belly Factory, and hung out some more with my parents and sisters, enjoying some down time.

So that's it for Week 1! I miss my family so much already, and living away from them can be hard. However, I know that the time we do spend together is so meaningful, and we truly spend every waking moment in each other's company. 

Stay tuned for the recap of Week 2, which will include a fun video of the trip!