Nothing screams summer more than the weekend of Independence Day. For my family and me, this holiday means cabin time with the Jacksons (and a Halle =]), who come all the way from Austin, Texas to eat good food, go tubing, and get sunburned on the dock.

It's a rare occasion that I get to spend time with my out-of-state relatives, but it is this rareness that makes our time together that much more special. We get to catch up on each others' lives, tell stories about our respective seasons and cities, and revisit what it is that makes us a family. My mom's family and my dad's family are polar opposites. One is large, Norwegian/German, and almost all of its members live within the same state. The other is small, spread out, and likes to travel (and is required to in order for its members to see each other). Certain holidays belong to each side, and I cherish the fact that I get to have such different experiences and traditions. It mixes things up a bit.

We had a great weekend, despite the fact that we arrived at the cabin only to discover that we had no power. The night before, a massive storm had swept through the area, with straight line winds that uprooted trees and downed power lines. There was a mad rush in the neighboring towns for ice since no one's fridge was working; Toby and Jon had to drive twenty miles just to find some. It was very eerie driving along the familiar road to my cabin and seeing trees torn in half and sections of forests flattened.

Luckily, our cabin was unharmed, and we made the best of the situation, boiling water to cook and do dishes, storing everything in coolers, and lugging water up from the lake in a bucket to flush the toilet. A good time was had by all.

How much do I love you, holiday weekend? Let me count the ways.

We headed back to the Cities on the fourth to chill with friends and enjoy some fireworks, but I'll write about that later. It's bed time.

Things I'm diggin' right now:

-A StoryPeople story that was meant for me (thanks Lauren =])
-Lyrics to live by
-The future of grocery shopping
-Animals that take better photos of themselves than half the people on Facebook
-A photo timeline of a family over a span of thirty years

G'night y'all.