Lake Tahoe – A Big Deal

Living so close to one of the most beautiful places in the world can tempt one to take that place for granted. When my husband and I were deciding where to spend our vacation week, we discussed several options that would have meant some extended travel. But when we had the idea to stay close to home to save travel time and the expense of traveling a considerable distance, we knew our choice would be Lake Tahoe.

sailboat on Lake Tahoe at dusk from our vantage point on our front porch

The outdoor entertainment options around the stunning Lake Tahoe area are plentiful. We discover something new to see or do almost each time we visit. During our stay, we hiked around the nearby Glen Alpine Lake and stopped in at Fallen Leaf Lake to take in the sights.

from top left, clockwise: waterfalls at Fallen Leaf Lake, Glen Alpine Lake, cabins at Glen Alpine Lake, Glen Alpine Lake from other side, countryside on way to Fallen Leaf Lake, coyote on way to Fallen Leaf Lake, another vantage point of Glen Alpine Lake, Fallen Leaf Lake, Fallen Leaf Lake

Our vacation spot of choice last week was at Camp Richardson, just a short drive from South Lake Tahoe, right on the famous lake itself. As many times as we’ve driven past the signs, we’ve never turned in to investigate what exists beyond the inviting entrance. We could see there were cabins and decided that sounded like a positively lovely way to spend our time off.

sunset view from our cabin
my husband – playing his guitar at dusk

Now, it helps that we went in May, before the rush of summer tourism, but our time there was truly dreamy. The cabin was so reasonably priced that we didn’t know what to expect. The dwelling was perfectly clean and cozy and comfortable. We could not believe our good fortune when we pulled up to the cabin that had our reservation’s name on it. It was front and center – nothing in between (aside from a few tall, venerable pines) us and the deep blue vastness that is Lake Tahoe! “What?!” I laughed. “How did we score this?”

We saw other people here and there during our stay, but for the most part, the grounds and the beach were our own!

We were there a couple weeks before all of the shops and historical tours are set to open up. The restaurant is open year-round, however, and we ate there twice. We ate outside where the views surround, and the food was delicious.

The historical sites, thought not open when we were there, still made for a beautiful and interesting walk through the trails. The signs told the stories of the families who once lived and worked there.

one of the historical buildings on site
an old boathouse turned into a musical theater

We rented bikes just a ways down the road and had so much fun exploring via nearby paved and dirt trails alike. We discovered a couple of beaches we never knew about and plan to go back and visit. The weather was unseasonably warm for May (as it is still May here in Northern Nevada and we had snow the last two days!). The air and the scents from the trees and blooming flowers and trees fulfilled their role to brighten and cheer. So GLORIOUS.

as soon as we got on the bikes, we just started laughing like we were kids again
I grabbed my coffee and bundled up to enjoy the sunrises – complete solitude and contemplative beauty

I think my favorite experience was walking the 15 or so seconds from our front porch to the beach late at night. Not a soul was out, save for the two of us. We saw the zillion stars in the black sky and listened to the soft lap of waves just feet from our sandy perch. We sat out there in the rare silence, where many voices, feet, and toys will soon occupy. Whether we had traveled from across the country or the ocean or the short one hour or so to stay at Lake Tahoe, it was amazing and did not disappoint!

Love This Day

Kings Canyon Trail

Another Mother’s Day in the books! As is our tradition, my husband and boys and I spent the day together outdoors hiking/walking. My oldest son wanted to be there and planned to be, but he was under the weather and was unable to join us. We missed him!

I love Mother’s Day. I love that I get to be with my family and that they always make me feel loved and appreciated. When my boys were very little I decided to make it a tradition to spend this day doing something that they would always have fun doing – hiking. It happens to be one of my favorite things to do too! We have always brought our dogs along, but Sydney is too old now and Scooby is, well, let’s just say, not quite ready yet (he’s completely insane around other dogs!).

Kobe, me, and Eli
Some of the many horses we encountered at Washoe Lake
Horse watching
Two of my three sons at Washoe Lake

Our day was full of beautiful sights and shrouded in the warmth of the Spring sunshine. I loved every minute of it. Thankful, thankful.

Kings Canyon Waterfall in Carson City

My Hope Is In You

“For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.”  Psalm36:9

I think every parent has, more than just a time or two, experienced gripping panic when it comes to the well-being of their children.  I know I sure have!  None of us has all the answers, and we certainly don’t have the ability to prevent every possible difficulty and heartache.  There’s not a parent in the world who knows how to navigate perfectly all the scenarios that would arise while bringing up their children.   Sometimes we’ll meet someone or observe from a distance one who seems to have no weaknesses as a parent.  The truth is that we are all vulnerable to finding ourselves lost in a sea of confusion and struggle at times, just trying to do right by our kids.  It’s not easy.  It’s just not.  We parents continually need encouragement and forgiveness and wisdom.   Parents have to contend with a complicated and flawed world that has dangerous and destructive ideas.  We are trying to navigate a million different philosophies, “truths”, principles and approaches to raising our kids; all the while learning more about our own inadequacies.  We are discovering and working on things we need to change in our own hearts and minds while trying to instill a standard in our kids’ beliefs and character that we have yet to see perfected in ourselves. 

Our tasks in discerning and detecting areas that need attention concerning our children can be downright overwhelming.  We try to be ever vigilant in protecting them.   But when you mix in even a little guilt with mistakes and missteps we are likely to find ourselves longing for peace of mind. How do we stay strong and effective in caring for our precious kids when we don’t exactly know the best way to proceed?

Experience has taught me that my deepest times with God are when my circumstances (whatever they may be) are the most unresolved or even desperate.  Though the path may be too dark to see ahead and doubt is all around, God is there and He is at work. Often, in just such times, a prayer will pour out of my heart and on to the pages of my journal.  Often just such a prayer will concern the needs of my children. I’ve learned that when I choose to trust God, He gives me the words to pray and the Scriptures that confirm to my soul that He hears me, that He holds my kids. This trust brings a peace that breathes hope back into the circumstance.   When the answers don’t come to mind I read the pages of the Bible until I hear His voice of truth.   The answer isn’t always specific or even clear, in fact, most times it’s neither.  When I finally quiet my soul and rest my panicked heart, His voice is enough to comfort me even if I still don’t see what the answer could be. 

As parents we tend to think that no one understands our particular challenges, leaving us feeling disconnected from each other. Though each home and parent and child is unique, we need to remember that we are not alone.  One of the most powerful sources of faith building and encouragement in my own life is hearing the testimonies of God’s faithfulness in the lives of others.  We will all have stories on the other side of our trials that will encourage someone else. Parenting is no different. May God use our lessons learned for His good in someone else’s life. 

Parenting is a job with matchless responsibility.  It is huge and it is great!  God is the One who works miracles in the lives of our children.  Our part is to learn to lean heavily upon Him and to listen to His voice, praying continually.  He is ever building character and faith in us and in our children.  Remember, God loves our kids more than we as human beings could ever love them. He hears our prayers.