Four years ago I remember receiving a text message (or maybe an email) from my mom suggesting that we all get together for a week over summer. She sent this about a month or two before the suggested date, which just didn’t work. This sparked an idea for all of us and out of those conversations we all committed one week a year to each other. We committed to making it work no matter what. We decided that an annual Witt Family Vacation was necessary.
Now, guess what? The third annual Witt Family Vacation kicks off in nine days!
Four Haydens, two Witt’s, and now three Atkinsons will gather at the McGuire Cottage in beautiful Minocqua, WI. We’ll fish, boat, go tubing, drink old fashioneds, and play cards. This year more than any other year, I’m craving togetherness. My sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew will meet my son Hudson for the very first time and my dad will see him for the second time in his sweet little baby life.
I recently read Jen Hatmaker’s latest book – Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire: The Guide to Being Glorious You. In this book she talks about her five kids growing up and specifically she speaks a good deal to how she and her husband created unique memories with them. She speaks to sort of a “coming of age” trip they’d take with each child that were “yes” trips. Everything was a “yes.” Eat a donut for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? “YES!” Go on the rollercoaster eight more times, “ABSOLUTELY!” While I was reading this chapter, I couldn’t help but think of Minocqua and our soon to be three years of Witt Family Vacation memories and group “Yes!” moments.
Witt Family Vacation is a proper noun worthy of its capitalization. It’s seven days of heart filling down-right fun and craziness. We’re jammed into a tiny space together, but that space is full of our favorite things – eachother + puzzles, each other + cowboy caviar, each other + movies, each other + family dinners. It’s also seven days of do whatever you want. My mom goes to the ends of the earth to do all the things for us. She cooks for us and cleans up after us. She makes tons of pots of coffee because the adults are up late (see reference earlier to Old Fashioneds) and the kids are up early. She makes the kiddos smile from ear to ear with every single interaction and comes up with creative and new things for them to be doing that include things like dollar store sponges turned into the best games ever. My dad is Mr. Fisherman and our boat cruise director. You’ll find him down at the dock with my niece or nephew (many times both) teaching them to fish or driving the boat around the lake finding either the perfect fishing spot or pulling us (somewhat recklessly) on the tube behind the boat. For my sister, brother-in-law, me, and my husband, it’s time for us to just be together. We sneak a way for lunch at the Yacht Club on the boat and laugh so much. My sister and I lounge on floaties in the lake working on our tans. My husband and brother-in-law talk way too much about the proper lure. We connect and fill up our cups with each other and have so much laughter and so many necessary “cheers!”
As you know, our world – the entire thing – is experiencing a Pandemic. For months we all discussed whether or not Witt Family Vacation could happen. Would it be safe? What about the babies? We’re making a go of it! We’re going to be safe and we’re all doing everything we can in advance to keep each other safe. In eight days, Hudson, Justin, and I will start a 16+ hour drive to up state Wisconsin which will put us in Minocqua around noon on the first day of Witt Family Vacation. We have no idea how the drive will go with a six-month-old baby, but we’re willing to find out because Witt Family Vacation is a week of “Yes!” and because I can feel the hugs from my sister already and because I can see the laughter on Hudson’s face when his cousins do silly things and because in these crazy times my heart needs to be together with my people.
Think about your “Yes!” moments and if you haven’t found a reason for them lately, do a bit of digging and find one! Fill yourself up with them – it’s good for you and it’s good for those around you.
Nine days to the third annual Witt Family Vacation, folks. Wisconsin, the Atkinsons are coming for you!