Merry Christmas from Moon Lake

merrychristmaswebHello! It is Jacob of Moon Lake again. I hijacked mom’s blog again so I could send you my Christmas letter. I’m not sure how I feel about the photo but I’m guessing the ladies will dig it. What’s there about me not to love? Just don’t ask mom this question at 2 am when I decide to show my less happy side. Don’t hate on me. I don’t plan these growth spurts. And when I’m hungry, I’m hungry. Anyways, I digress.

Back to my letter. It is crazy to think of everything that has happened in the past year. You know a year ago, I was sitting in my mom’s stomach wondering exactly when she was going to acknowledge my presence. She kept making up these odd excuses. But frankly, I think she knew. Sure, she probably didn’t want to get her hopes up. Can you blame her? I wasn’t around pre-me (duh), but I have been around when she’s reminded me I’m her miracle baby and how grateful she is to have me in her life. I think that makes this Christmas extra special. But I have a hunch that every mom thinks their baby is a miracle (only I really am folks).

lovesantaI only mention this because it ties to my Christmas message of please believe. Believe in what? I’m not quite sure. I’m only 4-months old and am still figuring out the whole faith thing. But, I do know that I’ll totally believe in a fat red guy fitting down our miniscule chimney if it scores me presents each year. I even have a shirt to prove it. And, I don’t ever want to stop believing that someday we’ll live in a world where the milk flows endlessly, we alternate round the clock between playtime, nap time and dinner time, and no single kids goes without daily hugs and kisses from folks that love them to the moon and back again. We’re not there, yet. Not even close. And that makes it hard to keep believing. But, I’m going to try. And, I’m going to do my part to make sure it happens. I hugseven started by kissing the neighbor girl…and flirting with a gal at my first Happy Hour (Yeah, I totally have game). I hope you’ll consider the same (not kissing the neighbor girl but doing your part to make the world a better place). I know mom and dad try to live this way, even when it at times can be very, very discouraging. But, that doesn’t stop them from trying.

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. May you fine time to indulge in too many cookies (eat one for me, please), drink too much milk, laugh until your stomach hurts, stay up too late telling stories with those you love,remembering what matters most not only at Christmas but all-year round and finding a place in your heart to believe in the unbelievable.

Live life, laugh lots, and love forever,

Jacob of Moon Lake

This is what happiness looks like…

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Happiness comes in many forms. For some gals, it involves diamonds, new shoes or designer cars. For me, it is a tractor. I’ve always wanted a tractor in part because it represents to me a simpler life. (And, because what Tomboy doesn’t dream of owning her own green and gold pride).

This past weekend I got one. Granted, it isn’t the big shiny new tractor I have drooled over while driving by Lulich Implement, but instead it is an authentic 1968 John Deere tractor/snow plow/lawn mower, complete with a 12 HP engine. A workhorse, quality tractor, without bells and whistles. I love it. I haven’t had a chance to figure out if we can use it on our hilly lake lot, that doesn’t in fact have a yard to mow, but there are plenty of fields to mow on our land in Herbster. I’m envisioning a Christmas tree farm for my family someday, complete with mowed trails and trimmed evergreens.

Is this a bit nostalgic? Perhaps. But, I’m finding this represents the life Steve and I have created for one another. It is a simple life—not boring, but plain old simple. I say this with pride because we somehow managed to figure out in our 30s (barely for Steve) that keeping things simple keeps us happy.

2012 was a year of blessings. Sure, there were ups and downs but there were also many, many moments of sheer bliss. Simple moments. We didn’t leave the Midwest this year. We didn’t change jobs. We didn’t buy a new home, or, even successfully close on a new property. In many regards, it was an average year. But, as I approach my favorite time of year celebrating with family and friends, I cannot help but take stock of how lucky I am to have an ordinary life be so extraordinary.

I stumbled across this recent posting by Jen Payne in her blog Random Act of Writing. In it, she compares the process of taking stock of what matters in life to actually making stock.

“We bring together experiences and moments, thoughts and ideas, and let them simmer for a while, mingling and merging to create a well-seasoned potage of intention.”

A well-seasoned potage of intention. I love that phrase. Purchasing the John Deere tractor was an impulse purchase at best. But, it was purchased with intention. A continued commitment and desire to live true to what we’ve become: a happy couple in Northwoods Wisconsin living the simple life.

This Christmas I wish everyone who has played a role in helping me reach this point in my life a very Merry Christmas. May you find joy in the simple things in your life.

Happy Holidays!

Day Two – Picture Perfect

The weather is not cooperating. We awoke just after 7 am to gray skies and a solid drizzle with no end in site. Such is life. We load up our car and begin the drive out of Copper Harbor.

The road hugs the lake and is lined with ancient cedar trees that stand ready to enclose the road should civilization ever cease to exist. Then again, it really does feel as though we are in the middle of nowhere. We stop at one of several lakeshore stops and look out on the big lake. Her glasslike features fade into the gray sky, creating a neutral backdrop against the deep green cedars. After wandering around the shore for a while and stumbling across the impressive Jacob’s Falls, it is time to make our way south towards Marquette.

On the way, we make a stop in Alberta, Michigan. Here, Henry Ford remains a legend. You see, back in the day Henry Ford was spending some time in the UP when he fell in love. He loved the area so much that he created a “Utopia” of sorts along with a saw mill. Today, the town is abandoned and owned by Michigan Tech. While visiting the abandoned town, we ran into a local who creates spectacular Birds Eye Maple woodworking pieces. After much discussion, I purchased my first Lake Superior Circle Tour souvenir—a Walnut and Birds Eye Maple candle.

The afternoon was spent exploring beaches and taking a hiking in the woods to give our puppy some off-leash time. By the time our hike was over, the skies had cleared making way for a picture perfect backdrop in Christmas, Michigan.

After one more cheesy photograph, we made our way into Munising where we ordered in some fabulous pizza from Main Street with some Keweenaw Brewing Company Pick Axe Blonde Ale. Then, it was time for a sunset cruise along the Picture Rocks. Standing in line with people from all over the Midwest, and well the world, it became clear some “colored rocks along the lake” were more than an afternoon adventure. As our boat pulls out of the harbor, I gaze into the horizon. It is hard to imagine in just a few days, I’ll be staring back from the other side. The tour is quite good. The photography options are endless.

 

Perhaps the most inspirational shot was this majestic white pine that despite all odds, it still alive. It is literally hanging on by a thread—on in its case roots. Despite its struggles, it still stands strong.

As the sun sets over the lake, I can’t help but smile. A day that started out a little lackluster, is literally ending picture perfect. I cannot wait to see what Day 3 brings.