The last time we headed up north to Brantingham, New York was the summer after our wedding–it’s so funny looking back at that recap (here!) because this year’s trip was different in so many ways! But, while three additional kids certainly made for some craziness, the best parts of this annual Kirk family Adirondack getaway–the gorgeous lake, sunset boat rides, big family dinners, late night laughs with Dave’s siblings, fresh air, and layers upon layers of memories–were all very much present. Dave’s grandparents used to have a house right around the corner from the house that the Kirks now rent for a week every summer, so he grew up spending Christmas Eves and countless summer days in this beautiful lakefront town. I can really only imagine how special it was to Dave to bring Charlie there for the first time–it was special enough to me, and it was only my fourth trip! Seeing our older nieces (ranging in ages from 18 to 4) right at home on the lake was a sweet preview of what Charlie may feel like in the years to come. Knowing that we’re starting the same tradition for him that Dave grew up with makes the 11-hour drive well worth it! Here are a few fun photos, if you’d like to see :)
My favorite thing about Brantingham is being on the water. Dave’s parents have a boat that they bring up each year, and his dad is more than generous about providing endless rides! We weren’t sure how Charlie would feel about the life jacket and boat situations, but he could not have loved it more. “Fast!” and “Hit it, Pop!” were his two most frequent requests!
I convinced two of my sisters-in-law to join me for a few half-marathon training runs, which made them so much more fun! Five miles was actually enjoyable on a gorgeous, zero humidity, 75 degree day :) Meanwhile, Charlie was plenty entertained by the giant “swimming pool,” some new ducky friends, and the chance to try his hand at kayaking and driving the boat–he has been talking about all of the above ever since!
I came across a clothing company called Lake Effect Co. a few years ago and fell in love with their perfectly designed lake-inspired pieces. When preparing for our trip, I reached out to the owner to see if she’d like to collaborate, and was so excited when she sent me a few things to pack and share! I picked their cozy Lake Day long-sleeve tee (pictured in the top photo) and the gray crew neck tee below, and y’all, these are officially some of the comfiest things in my closet. I’m picky about t-shirts but these are both an amazing weight and texture. I also lived in their crisp white Lake Day hat, and you shouldn’t be surprised if all the Kirks have matching ones by next year because it was a family favorite :) And do NOT get me started on this “Duck Duck Loon” toddler tee–I got one for Charlie, but sadly, didn’t get a good shot of him in it because he got sick at the end of the week. Rest assured he’ll be wearing it all summer, despite our loon-free NC lakes! You can take 15% off your Lake Effect Co. order with the code pretty15 through July 27–I promise you won’t regret taking advantage of it! :)
In the interest of full disclosure, this trip was not without mishap. Actually, a lot went pretty wrong! All three toddlers came down with fevers at some point, Charlie got a bad stomachache on our last day, and I came down with one of the worst stomach bugs I’ve ever had (as in, got sick 25 times in three hours and Dave almost took me to the hospital–thank God we had plenty of help with Charlie during that time!). There were cousin squabbles and water skiing injuries and rough nights and skipped naps. But, all in all, I know the good moments will outweigh the tough ones, and that creating these memories was worth the challenges 1000 times over. And for that, I’m so very grateful.