This summer we were able to escape Colorado and have a wonderful much needed summer vacation. We drove nine hours to Nebraska to Cottonwood Beach where Thomas’s grandma has a cabin on the lake. I haven’t recorded every yearly visit but here is a post of when we visited a few years back. We were able to have a wonderful week spent with family, Thomas’s grandma and mom, and this year my dad and stepmom also joined us which was absolutely wonderful. A summer vacation full of lots of fun and family and beauty. The lake here is so beautiful. It was Mackenzie’s first birthday the day after we got back, so we celebrated her first birthday early at Cottonwood beach with everyone. How special to have Mila’s grandmas there including her great-grandma! It was special to celebrate our baby girl’s first year of life here with those that love her so much.

We had so much fun the week we visited! I always enjoy being able to swim and feel the cold body of water, see the wildlife and just be. This is pretty much the only time I get to swim in the summer so I definitely take advantage and enjoy the opportunity while we are here! It was so nice to feel the sunshine on our backs for the week and see ourselves get a tan. Even Mila got really dark! We went on the pontoon boat at night and one evening Mila and Thomas caught a fish. In the morning we’d take the paddle boat out as a family and enjoy the view and serenity of being on the water. Thomas and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary while here. We didn’t really get a chance to do anything romantic, but everyone watched the girls while Thomas and I went on an ‘anniversary swim’ basically we swam together, haha. We had fun though and enjoyed spending time together swimming. The lake is amazing and we literally spent hours and hours swimming in the lake each day. It was paradise.

The girls had a blast spending time here too, they both loved being outside, swimming and just taking it easy. It wasn’t always easy trying to manage being outside and in the water with Mackenzie’s nap schedule, but we got it figured out. We brought the baby monitors and one day I did take a 2+ hour nap with her which was nice. Mackenzie absolutely loved being outside and the water! She was totally a water baby! As soon as she touched the water in the lake she started moving her legs and basically swimming. I think it might have to do with the fact that she was born in the water! The water is the first thing she felt outside the womb, so I’m sure it is comforting to her. Mila also really enjoyed swimming way more than past years. She was really splashing and playing and having a great time. She enjoyed her floaties and having us swim with her in the water. 🙂

We didn’t see as much wildlife this time around. There is a blue heron that lives here and we saw him briefly, or at least I did, not as much as prior years. There were frogs at night and beautiful fire flies! We saw a snake in the water and that was pretty much it. My parents brought their dog Layla, so it was really sweet she could be with us too. Along with Trusty Thomas’s grandmas awesome German Shepherd. Thomas also found a freshwater clam below him in the water! That was pretty cool and random!

This place is a nostalgic place where we return to every year. Thomas’s grandma is always so gracious and sweet having us visit. Of course we ate lots of donuts and cookies and swam most of the day. We’d come in for lunch and then eat dinner outside on the picnic table as a family. We always eat delicious meals here. It really was a wonderful trip! I feel so grateful to be able to share in experiencing the magic of Cottonwood Beach, a place that will always be special to my family and I. I can’t wait for our trip next year!

A blurry photo of our daily morning paddle boat rides 🙂