For the last five years, my family has gathered in the small town of Empire in Northern Michigan for a week or two to reconnect. We rent a big house together, and spend our time cooking together, hiking, bicycling, swimming, and kayaking. We have witnessed incredible meteor showers while laying in deserted streets, eagerly introduced the newest members of our family to our favorite beaches, and uttered crazy dreams around the campfire. This year, my parents' dream was that they would take steps to move north, and within three months of our last vacation, they were closing on a new house. Dreams come true.
So this year between Christmas and New Years, my entire immediate family (now 8 adults and 3 children) crammed into our new 3-bedroom home. We spent the evenings playing cards and our days slowly, driving into town for groceries, walking down the lane to see the horses, visiting Lake Michigan and cooking meals. We settled into our new home together, and I look forward to the many memories this place will hold in the years that come.