Ludington, Michigan has always held a special place in Travis' heart, and in the last 11 years, my heart as well. This is where Travis' family has been vacationing for generations. This is where his love for fishing really started and hasn't let go. I always say if he wasn't in ministry he'd be fishing for a living. This vacation is where he lives out his favorite pastime twice a day for seven days straight. A fisherman's dream come true. And for me, it's less about the fishing; it's where Travis proposed to me to be his wife on the beach of the Lake 11 years ago. After 7 years of vacationing elsewhere we finally returned to a place that holds so many memories.

After almost three months Anna still talks about our "new house" in Michigan and the big fishy Pops caught. I forgot just how amazing Michigan is, so much so I really don't want to vacation anywhere else. Who needs the beach of Florida when the R&R we received on a secluded, peaceful lake was everything we needed?

The "Evergreen" house was the perfect home for us for that week in late August. It felt more like fall. After 90 degree temps for the previous three months I did not mind one bit that our vacation was filled with 60 degree temps and precipitation. It was almost more relaxing that it rained most days.

Every morning while Theo slept and Anna played quietly, the boys out fishing, I'd sip my coffee and sit and marvel at the serene Hamlin Lake just 50 yards from our living room window. 

It wasn't just the four of us in that little house by the lake. We also went with Travis' dad, better known as Pops, and Travis' brother and sis-in-law (I'd rather call her one of my best friends because an "-in law" doesn't do our relationship justice) Troy and Carly.

Pops surprised Anna with her first fishing pole. She loved that thing and picked up casting right away like a pro.

She was super excited to catch her first fish, if you can't tell.

She was so sweet with each fish she and Travis caught. She'd want to hold every one. She'd pet it, tell it "it's ok, you're ok", give it a little kiss, then throw it back in the water. Every time. I about died.

Travis was over the moon getting to share his love of fishing with his daughter. The fact that Anna took to it and loved it so much brought Travis so much joy (especially since his wife doesn't take to it at all). 


I know Travis can't wait to be able to share his love for fishing with Theo too but for that week he was Mommy's buddy. I didn't mind at all. Fun fact: Theo perfected his walking skills that week. What happened to my baby?! 

A few nights after we arrived Travis caught his biggest fish ever. A muskie that he says was at least 42 inches. Here's the thing, he and his dad weren't able to ever get it in the boat to be able to take a picture and measure it correctly. This fish still haunts him three months later. A few nights later, Travis' dad was out in the boat by himself and caught the sister of the one Travis caught. He wrestled with it on the line for 20 minutes before he finally was able to pull it in. He ran up to the house, struggling to hold it because of how heavy it was, so we could capture it on camera. Carly, Anna, and I were sitting on the couch in the living room when we saw Travis' dad rushing onto the porch. As soon as Anna saw it she exclaimed, "OH MY GOSH, That's a BIG FISH!" She was right, it was bigger than her! She looks so proud of her Pops in this photo :)

When the guys and Anna weren't fishing we slept, walked around the resort grounds, took boat rides, toured the little towns of Ludington and Pentwater, spent time on Lake Michigan's beach and walking to the lighthouse, ate ice cream at our favorite dive House of Flavors, and Anna experienced her first time playing putt-putt. She absolutely loved it!

I'm so thankful for the man holding my Littles there. He made this whole vacation possible. Anna and Theo love their Pops, for sure. 

And then there's these goofballs. I couldn't imagine having spent this vacation without Troy and Carly. It made all the times the guys were out fishing for their lives while the girls and Theo stayed in that little house that much better. 

The guys showing the lengths of their biggest fishes caught. Sorry Troy!

We can't stop talking about Michigan. It will live long in our hearts as one of our best vacations. We've already promised ourselves that we need to make it an annual trip, one that our children will grow up cherishing just like their father did and his mother did and her father did. 

Photo credit for a few of the above: Carly Jones

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