We got off to a late start. No surprise there. Then it was chaos trying to load the boat and figure out what we needed and who was going first and who was going second. We knew that with one boat and a bazillion million people we would be doing two trips from the launch to the beach. Then it ended up being that we picked the one weekend of the summer that there was an event on the lake so it was busy. People and boats on all the beaches! Jessie, Steven, Riss, Liv, and I hung back at the launch so we missed out on finding the beach. Instead we just waited and waited and waited some more for my Dad to come back for us.
Once we got to the beach though, it was so worth it.
Obviously Preston and Mason thought so. When we arrived, they were already out floating. It's a rough life on the water.
I did some reorganizing of the beach. Brad really wasn't sure what was what and he did his best but things were a mess. Then when the people down beach from us packed up and left, we packed everything up and moved down the beach. I really don't think we were there long enough to scare them away! Ha! It was nicer down there too. More beach. Less trees. More private. Score!
Jess and Steve.
All I wanted was a photo with him. I got this instead.
Steve. Drinking. Eating. Borrowing Olivia's floatie.
Don't worry Mason, Preston will save you!
Enjoying the water.
Loves from my girl!
Olivia was not feeling the idea of a photo with us. I mean clearly.
On the other hand she was loving those fishie crackers.
About fifteen minutes later the rest of us were NOT enjoying Liv and all of her snacks. I had pulled her swim diaper off figuring it's not it was holding her pee and she had already pooped that morning. Big mistake. BIG mistake. She's sitting on my lap and it all just ends up everything. It was not good. I literally couldn't do anything except laugh. Lay there on the beach covered in baby poop laughing. My life it is so glamorous sometimes. Brad took photos, I'll spare you. It was disgusting.
When me and Liv were all cleaned up we hopped on the boat with my Dad, Matt, Preston, and Mase to head out and do some fishing just off the shore. Preston had been dying to use the fishing pole Aunt Jen got him and insisted that we bring it when we told him we were going to the lake. So we just had to go fishing before we left.
Olivia didn't really care what we did as long as she got to play with the radio.
And drive the boat.
It helped make up for the fact that her mean old Mommy made her wear her life jacket.
Preston was so excited to be fishing!! He looked so dang cute sitting on the back of the boat all serious waiting to catch something.
And then HE DID!
I was so shocked! He yelled that he'd caught a fish and I went to ask him if he was sure and there was a freaking fish! He reeled it in all by himself even, all of a sudden there it was! My baby caught a fish!
My Dad helped him pull it up the rest of the way and then I made them all pose for a photo with Mr Fish before we sent him back on his way.
We headed back to shore after tossing Mr Fish back. The sky had started to get dark and my Dad said that it was supposed to storm that evening. Add in that my Mom saw lightning off in the distance and our day at the lake was over.
When we hit shore it was decided that me, Preston, Liv, Jessie, Steve, Mason, and Matt would all head back to shore with my Dad to get to the kids back to the boat launch so they would be safe and sound in the car long before the storm hit. I grabbed our beach bag and had Preston switch from his puddle jumper to his life jacket and with that we were off leaving Brad, my Mom, and Riss who were going to stay on the beach with all of our stuff and head back in the second round.
As we pulled away Jessie said it would really suck if the storm hit before my Dad got back with Brad, my Mom, and Riss being stuck on the beach and I responded that it would suck even more if it hit before we got off the boat since we had no cover. Oh foreshadowing.
Not long after we left, the sky started to get dark. It was beautiful. I pulled my phone out to take a couple of photos. No concern. Lightning flashed and my brother pulled his phone out to take a video. Still we weren't concerned since it was so far off.
Here's the thing. It wasn't so far off. Jessie looked over at the trees and the wind was blowing so hard that they were nearly horizontal! I looked around and realized that the water was no longer choppy because of everyone else on the water with us because there was no one else on the water. We were it. The water was just choppy. There were waves all over the lake. Not just waves but whitecaps. It was like we were boating on the ocean. And it only seemed to be getting worse.
After a few minutes of this we came up on this little island that I had made a joke about on the way there and I realized just how far we still were from the boat launch. It was far. Far enough that I was terrified about how much worse it was going to get. So I yelled to my Dad that we needed to get off the boat. We needed to get off the water. I was done. He slammed the boat into stop and asked me where the f*** I wanted to go. And then very dramatically (I kid you not, it was so dramatic) the waves crashed over the front of the boat and I yelled at him to just drive the f***ing boat. And away we went again.
After that I told Preston and Mason to hold on tight. Preston was death gripping the windshield bar already. And I was holding tight to Olivia with one arm and holding onto Preston and Mason's life jackets with the other. Telling myself that we were almost there. And I prayed. Oh I prayed. I told myself that if my Dad wasn't worried than I shouldn't be either. In hindsight that moment where I yelled that I wanted off the boat and my Dad's reaction should have been when I realized that it was even more serious that I thought it was because my Dad was terrified too. Instead I tried to convince myself that my Dad wasn't worried and he had things under control so there was nothing to worry about.
At one point we hit a really large wave and Preston looked over at my Dad and yelled, "Grandpa this is NOT the time for games!" It was so funny. Much funnier once we were off the boat.
Finally Preston yelled that he could see the bridge. He was the first of all of us to see it. When he first yelled it I thought he was wrong because it took me a minute to find it. But it was there. The bridge was right after the boat launch.
I'm not sure anyone has ever gotten off a boat fast than we all did.
We had made it!
Well made it half way. Brad, my Mom, and Riss were still back at the beach. Jesse and I had come to this realization about five minutes before we made it to the launch and decided that my Dad couldn't go back alone. He couldn't even see where he was going most of the time because of the wind and the rain and the waves. Someone had to go with him. Being that both of us had our kids with us, it meant that someone was going to be Matt. So after we hopped off the boat Jessie and I told Matt that he was getting back on the boat and going back with Dad to get everyone else. The fact that neither of them argued was just proof of how back it was. Then Jessie and I raced up to find cover with the kids while Steven stayed down at the dock and tried to convince my Dad to stay at wait even just ten minutes to see if the storm would die down. But my Dad was so worried it would only get worse and that they were stuck on the beach that he refused and him and Matt headed back out. While we all raced up to the cars to get the kids out of the rain.
When we got to the car, I checked the time. Brad had told me that it took forty five minutes from the time my Dad left them on the beach to the time that he arrived back with us. So they had one hour before I started freaking out. I got the kids dressed and tried calling Brad. By some miracle I was able to get through. Only to lose him while trying to tell him my Dad was on his way and hearing him tell me that the beach had flooded. So we waited.
Finally they made it!
My Dad said the ride back to the beach was worse than the ride to the boat launch. On the way to the boat launch at least we were going against the waves but on the way back they were going with the waves so they kept crashing over the back of the boat. Brad told me that the beach did flood and that they had to move everything up into the dry tall grass behind them and wait. Fortunately he had kept our beach umbrella so they huddled under that. Brad singing "I'm a Little Teapot" apparently helped calm my Mom's nerves. At least the storm had cleared by the time they headed back to the boat launch.
Later when I told my Dad that I was absolutely scared shitless on the ride back because I had both Preston and Olivia on the boat, he told me to imagine how he felt with three of his five kids on the boat and all of his grandchildren.
Even later when my Dad was talking to someone about the whole day and how I had wanted him to turn the boat towards the shore so that we could all get off, they told him that it was a good thing he didn't because more than likely our boat would have flipped. Going against the waves was better than having them hit us from the side. So it's a good thing I wasn't in charge. We also read that three boats capsized that day out on the water.
The fact that we all finished the day completely unharmed is nothing short of a miracle if you ask me.
In the end we all had a great time out at the lake and a not so great time leaving the lake.