The One Where I Learn the Value of Sunscreen

In a weird twist of fate, I now live in the state where I (mostly) grew up. It's not where I thought I'd be raising my family. I mean, I left Minnesota in 1994, nine months after I got married, shaking the snow off my boot and vowing never to return.

Never think God doesn't have a sense of humor, y'all.

So we're back. And I must say, one of the unexpected pleasures of moving "home" with kids in tow is getting to share with them the things you loved doing when you were young. And when I was young, there was no better place to be on a sunny summer day than The Lake.

For those of you not from these here parts, The Lake is ubiquitous in Minnesota. Our license plates say "Land of 10,000 Lakes," but there are really more like 11,842. (Not that anyone's counting. Oh wait! Someone is!) In fact, Minnesota's lakes and rivers provide more shoreline than California, Florida and Hawaii combined. The sport of waterskiing was invented here, and we have more boats per capita than any other state. (One boat for every six people, in case you're wondering.)

Best of all, most of our lakes are clean!
Which makes for fun summer days.
(I feel compelled to add here that the one exception to the clean lake rule seems to be the lake we live on, which is pictured above. Despite it's beauty, it's notoriously shallow; if you can stand the muck, you could almost walk across it, even though it's about 26 miles around. And the algae blooms in the summer are quite ... spectacular.)

Anyway. Where was I? Oh yes. Because most of the lakes in the Twin Cities are clean, and that's where my husband works and where we'll be moving sometime before September, the kids and I found ourselves at a beautiful lake on a 90-degree day earlier this week, thoroughly enjoying the sunshine and the water. Oh. And the chocolate chip cookies.
I really couldn't think of a better way to spend the day. I was so happy and so giddy about the perfect water temps and the perfect sunny day and the perfect way the kids were behaving, I didn't even feel sick.
Although I did learn this lesson: Sunscreen is pretty crucial when you are at the lake for four hours on a cloudless day. My kids don't burn -- those lucky Asian genes -- but maybe I should have packed some sunscreen for Mom.
I stayed inside yesterday, like a good girl, to give my skin some time to heal. But today? It's still sunny and 90. We're headed to the pool! With sunscreen in tow.


  1. Hi Kelly,
    This is my first visit to your beautiful blog. I'm from Michigan and am now in Florida, which NONE of our family likes. I really miss the seasons!

    I really enjoyed your pictures! We have friends who live north of Minneapolis. Minnesota is a very beautiful state.

  2. I'm so glad to hear that you're feeling better - at least for one day!

    Yikes! Bring on the aloe!

  3. You poor thing! I underestimate the sun too. Hopefully it won't burn too badly and will pass over quickly. Enjoy the pool!

  4. We've all been there and done that. Hope you heal quickly!

  5. ouch!
    I learned that lesson last year when my dear Evy gave me a hug and planted her sunscreened hands on my back. I wore a little reminder of her hug until my otherwise rosy back faded. :o)