We’re missing the lakehouse this year, which has sort of become a 4th of July tradition with our friends, the Jensens, over the last couple of years. I know they’re missing it this year too.
Acura, the car brand, publishes a quarterly lifestyle, travel and design magazine for their customer base (a distribution of 850,000 – hey, not bad!) and asked me to submit some photos for consideration for one of their photo essay stories. The lakehouse story was chosen for a 4 page spread and was published this Spring (along with a nice paycheck. Yay for paying photographers for their work!).
Happy 4th of July! We’re going to try and catch some fireworks.
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Looking at these photos from the lakehouse this past summer is like being enveloped in warm sunshine – a welcome feeling right now, not just because it’s winter (although it’s not – the mild temps still persist in the city), but also because it’s a happy time and I need all the happy time thoughts in my life right now.
But there’s another reason why I dug up these photos from the summer. Our friends Sara and Thor officially adopted their foster daughter who came to live with them and their son a year ago. Do you remember my Pink Party in the Woods post? It was to celebrate this little girl’s birthday. We weren’t able to show any photos of Rylie or even reveal her name – until now. So all the photos from the lakehouse, of her pink party in the woods, of the weekend that we spent at their house on the San Juan Islands in Washington, had to be cropped or shot in a way as not to show her face.
I can’t even tell you how happy I am for my friends and what an honor it is to know them and witness this incredible journey over the past year.
If you’d like a little piece of the Jensens in your life, Sara is having a fab.com sale on her tote bags (the pomegranate print!) and new fragrances. Help support my friends who, like us, are also a dual freelance income family trying to make a living on their terms while raising 2 awesome kids. If you don’t have a Fab account follow this link and I’ll invite you (ok, full disclosure – I get credits by inviting people…but you should have a fab account anyway because you’ll thank me later and then we both win!).
Oh, and Sara sent me this necklace in the mail a few days ago. It’s half of a “Best Friends” heart necklace, kind of like the kind you’d give your friend in high school. True, I’ve only known Sara for 18 months, but there are some people who you feel like you’ve known your whole life. And I’m totally wearing the necklace right now. I’m hereby declaring it my good luck charm to ward off negative spirits and bad things that are swirling around me right now. Take that, bad stuff!!
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The first time I visited the San Juan Islands was during a 3 day class retreat in college nearly 20 years ago. We went to Orcas Island and rented a big cabin in Doe Bay hot spring, driving in caravans of cars and buses full of music students and instruments and getting on the ferry in Anacortes. Needless to say, it was rad.
There would be a few other trips during my time in the NW, but my last time in the San Juans was 3 years ago when I took my parents there on a day trip to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. This is the island that our friends Sara and Thor (of the lakehouse) live year round and we went to visit them.
Anacortes is always cold and foggy. You could tell that it catches people off guard sometimes if they’re driving up from Seattle because they come unprepared without sweaters and hoodies. Our hour long ferry ride this year was a complete white out. I’m not even sure how the ferry knows where to go! But sometime after the 45 minute mark the fog slowly started lifting. A sliver of island could be seen…then, sunshine!
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We had a special birthday party this year at the lakehouse. A party that required lots of pink. I felt pretty honored to be there to help celebrate such a big occasion.
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Did I mention that there is no electricity or running water at Sara’s lakehouse? That means a lot of reading on the porch and early bedtimes, 2 things I don’t really do anymore. It also means the first night is spent staring at the darkness at 4am in the morning because no matter what time I go to sleep, I just wake up 5 or 6 hours later. The outhouse is also a bit of a (short) walk away from the house, which means that I usually choose to hold it in even though I need to go pretty badly because really, who wants to get up in complete darkness in the middle of the night and fumble toward an outhouse with a flashlight? It sort of reminds me of when I used to go camping. The days are ruled by the hours of daylight since there isn’t any electricity, and so you sleep and rise with the sun. When you wake in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep, waiting for those first glimmers of morning light can seem like forever. Miraculously, I slept through the 2nd night and woke up to the gentle sound of rain.
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You might recall that last year we met Sara Jensen at her family lakehouse, a house that her great grandfather built in 1906, located 1 hour north of NYC. Sara and I had never met before up until that weekend, having only just chatted over the internet, and I guess she decided that we were not scary strangers or anything because she invited us back again this year. It’s funny what kids remember or don’t remember from the past, but the girls have fond memories of spending the weekend at the house last year and couldn’t stop talking about it the week or so leading up to the 4th. Now, it just feels like a part of summer to us.
(oh, and shhhh…don’t tell anyone we were roasting store-bought marshmallows. totally forgot to bring our own this year).
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