Mammoth Mayhem 2013

We recently returned from some time away with friends and family known to all who were there as #mammothmayhem13.


I’m not kidding, twenty adults and fifteen kids is a lot of people but a whole lot of fun.  We weren’t all there at the same time of course, there was an open door policy with comings and goings according to people’s schedules but there were times when I would look around the room and think, wow this is a lot of people.



It was jam packed with fun, especially on the rainy day that we were stuck inside, allowing the kids to watch more Disney Channel than we were comfortable with {which is a vacation to them} as we thought about how to entertain them and Chad and Kat taught them a much loved card game from their college years.  Once the weather cleared up we enjoyed some beautiful hikes, paid homage to the gold rush era and spent a couple of days beach side at June Lake. I knocked one thing off my bucket list by learning how to stand up paddle which is MUCH harder than it looks.  I enjoyed it though and hope I can go out again sometime if my coach will take me.


We ate and ate and ate. In fact, the trip was originally subtitled the Bread and Wine trip because several of us women are fans of Shauna Niquest’s writing and read her newest book leading up to our trip. I had these grand fantasies of the kids playing quietly and independently while the moms lingered in the kitchen cooking up meals and having readings from our favorite parts of the book.  Reality set in though and the meals were more like survival mode although we did cook up some great things like slow cooked tacos, chili, and of course grilled hamburgers. I made Annette’s Enchilladas for our first night and Sharon made the Blueberry Crisp for dessert another night.

While we ended up only having one reading at June Lake, I believe we lived the heart of Bread and Wine over the weekend.  We gathered around tables. The dining table, the coffee table, a make shift table {a towel on the sand} and we broke bread together, laughed and felt safe, welcomed and loved by and with friends who are like family.

The heart of Bread and Wine is on page 106:

“What people are craving isn’t perfection. People aren’t longing to be impressed; they are longing to feel like they’re home.  If you create a space full of love and character, and creativity and soul, they’ll take off their shoes and curl up with gratitude and rest, no matter how small, no matter how undone, no matter how odd.”

There was nothing perfect about our time away. We had two trips to the ER, babies who wouldn’t sleep, siblings who didn’t get along and two boys who went missing at the lake on the last day.  Yes… we had two wondering fisherman who didn’t realize how far they had walked or how long they were gone leaving their two mothers in a state of panic with visions of helicopters, search and rescue complete with lights and dogs scanning the lakeside all night in search of their boys.  No, it wasn’t perfect but it was perfect for us because in the mayhem we found rest in the provision of God for every good thing. Every need, every conversation, every lesson learned from how another person does family, cooks their meals, and what kind of eggs they buy.  Every one of our families parents our kids differently but it was so obvious we all love our families immensely, have the same goals, hopes and dreams for our kids and are working out of the same grid with the same God who we are trying to get our direction from.

We were in Mammoth but we were home. There was love, character was built and there was lots of creativity and my soul was fed.  And when little Jackson came to our baseball game yesterday and flashed his big smile and told me he missed us… my heart was filled to the rim with gratitude.

15 thoughts on “Mammoth Mayhem 2013

  1. Kelly Amico says:

    This is all time! Oh my, It sounds like our vacation we just came home from while in Mammoth and Yosemite. Less adults ( 8 of us) BUT 25 kids! 🙂 A lost child (ours) 😮
    A car stuck in a ditch on the 1st day….ours! A slew of crazy, but fun stories…. I LOVE the quote you shared from that book. Made me interested in reading it! Maybe we will see you Thursday for the 4th, we are planning to be at the Nugents!!! God Bless you Suzie!

  2. Kat says:

    Ahhhh…tears re-living it…from laughter and from sweetness. It was a perfect mayhem that I would do again and again.

    With our own tube of derma-bond.

  3. Joanie says:

    I just read in my Real Simple magazine on their “thoughts” page. ” There seems to be a kind of order in the universe in the movement of the stars and the turning of the earth and the changing of the seasons, and even in the cycle of human life. But human life is almost pure chaos”. I am so glad that Jesus is Lord in the chaos, and we found Him even in the midst of vacation chaos! I loved it; I loved the extra time it took to get anywhere, the interrupted conversations, the excitement over new discoveries, the time spent in amazing nature, and the scattered moments of solitude!

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