Boundary Waters, MN / Pictured Rocks, MI

August 2014

For those of you who don’t know, I have a big family. And we’re pretty fond of each other. Now that we’re all “adults” (whatever that means…), the 6 Courey siblings are starting to scatter a bit. Gabe & Trena are rocking it in Milwaukee, as Carleigh & Aaron are in Whitehall, MI. Jake has been off in Kentucky, Minnesota, and sometimes Pennsylvania to visit the lovely Abbey. Si’s in GR,  and Sophie is hanging around Holland with Eric and I (and the most amazing Mom, Dad, kitty and pup in the world). All this to say, the most wonderful part of our summer vacation adventures were that we got to do them together (Expect Aaron– we missed you!!!).

This summer, the Courey Crew road tripped up to my sweet in-laws’ cabin in Ely, MN. It was such a spectacular week: we canoed into the Boundary Waters, hiked at Tettegouche State Park and Palisade Head, read lots of Harry Potter and C.S. Lewis and autobiographies and sci-fi novels, cruised around Fall lake at sunset on the old speed boat, talked about life, made s’mores on s’mores on s’mores, finished a puzzle and a half, and learned how to loon-call. Then we came on back to the mother-land (loveliest MI) and spent a day at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore before driving home.

There’s something unique about family. I won’t go on about it as long as I could, but this summer I’ve really realized how specific relationships between siblings and with parents are. When two people become extremely close friends, it’s usually because they’ve revealed a part of themselves to each other that not everyone (or maybe anyone) has ever known. What I realized on our vacation is that the individuals in a family have a special bond. Those deep parts- where our most shameful weaknesses, darkest fears, and most beautiful strengths lie- don’t have to be told to each other. In living life from start to present with 50% of the same genes, very similar life history & context, and each other’s company, siblings just sort of understand those things about each other. And then it’s just a blast when you get to watch those siblings fall in love with their other half and welcome them into our life. This state of relationship is vulnerable and can be intense. And it has the potential to be an extremely beautiful miracle and what I think is a piece of heaven. I am blown away by the grace I find in my relationships with my siblings and parents. With that said, I can’t wait for next year’s vacation!

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