We went on a family camping trip last week. There were ten of us. My 6, my mother and father in laws and my aunt and uncle...in law......is that what I'd call them? They are Nick's Aunt and Uncle lol! This was sort of a last minute trip, but as soon as I heard the words camping, I was all for it. I'd consider myself an outdoorsy girl. I love being outside with my kids exploring, and I can't tell you how much I love sunshine!! I grew up in Arizona, so that's not much of a shocker.
We planned to go for 4 days. I'd only been camping once in my life (that I can remember), it was for one night and kind of a bust. SO, I was super excited to go camping for real. My kids have never been camping either, and since summer is coming to an end, I was thrilled that they'd get to have a vacation to talk about when they go back to school.
We packed more than we needed, but hey...better to have more than you need, than not enough! I did however not really think about it being cold at night.....meaning I left most of the kids warmer clothes at home. :/ That's ok, they stayed warm with lots of blankets, jackets, and good pj's. I won't mention the quick trip to target to get some emergency warm clothes for my littlest man. :)
The kids were amazing on the way there. We split them up, gma and gpa took the 2 oldest and we stuck with our two youngest. My son and daughter barely made a peep on the way there. Thank you laptop for playing Toy Story 3 :) Yes, I let them watch movies the entire way there.....shoot me. It made for a great trip there, which was needed.....because we were all tired, hungry and cold when we got to our campsite. The men set up tents and the women organized and made dinner. Whoever said crackers, cheese, salami and fruit isn't a good dinner, has never been camping! The guys finished the tents, and I must add....the tents were literally a foot apart. It was hilarious, and genius! We were able to fit three tents in that space and it was awesome! We got the kids to bed, ok....that makes it sound.....so easy. HA! Let's get to the details from a mother here...
I got my girls in bed and they of course were great.....excited to sleep in a tent, but were quiet, and pretty much went right to sleep. William on the other hand.....lets just say he won the award for loudest scream in the entire campsite. :/ Now, I already am battling with anxiety....so imagine me laying on my air mattress, between William in his play pen, and the girls on the bed we made them.....praying to God that William stops crying, that he doesn't wake up the girl's and that we don't get kicked out of the camp site LOL!! I know, I'm so dramatic, but if you have anxiety, you know I'm not kidding!! I was freaking out on the inside, but all I did was lay there trying to show my son that it was ok, and that it was time for night night. He took about 10 minutes to stop his fit, and then proceeded to talk to himself. Not just any old talking to himself...I'm talking about clapping for himself, saying "bye" every time someone walked by the tent, laughing at himself, pretending cars were driving by and making the "vroooooom" sounds. Oh yea, we were all cracking up. I am laying next to the child trying not to have an anxiety attack AND trying not to laugh. Oh boy!! I finally think he is about to lay down, but no. He squats down, presses his lips against the mesh of the playpen and makes the "mmmm" sound, hinting at me to kiss him. How can I not!? So we shared a mesh kiss and he went to sleep :)
The rest of the nights we were there, he only really talked to himself for about 30 minutes before falling asleep for the night, thank goodness! I only layed in bed so he could see me the first night, all the other nights I made sure he knew I was outside of the tent and he was ok. He napped a couple times in the tent, but otherwise he slept while we drove to different places like the beach. Katie, Laura and Nicholas slept great.....I was cold, but once I cuddled my husband and realized you have to put a blanket OVER the mattress....I was great! ;)
Our days were spent making meals, enjoying company, exploring our surroundings, talking, and walking children to the bathroom 8,937 times :) HEHE! I truly enjoyed our time there. One of the highlights, was when we took the kids to a little area in the camp grounds, that was amazing. It had a little creek, places for the kids to climb and the most beautiful trees I've ever seen. They enjoyed snack with gma and gpa and the pictures that we all took, are my absolute favorite. William tagging along with his grandpa, Nicholas looking for bugs, the girls showing gma EVERYTHING they could find, and my husband and I smiling. :) It was perfection.
We took a day to go to the beach, and the kids were super excited for that. I kinda was too......ok, I was TOTALLY excited for it! I absolutely love the beach. There is nothing about it that I don't like. Well, maybe the sand that magically sticks to every child, but other than THAT.....it's total love for me. We played in the water, made sand castles, ate our lunch and the adults sat smiling as we watched the kids enjoy every moment. We were all happy, and that meant so much.
We had lots of late nights, and I loved it. I liked that the kids didn't have to be on a strict schedule, but I must say.....it was nice to come home and get them all back on a normal schedule!
The kids were so well behaved, and we had so much help with them from our family. We are so blessed to have them be so involved with the kids.
One of the biggest highlights for us was going to the Trees Of Mystery. There are pretty much no words to describe this place. Amazing. Beautiful. Humbling. It was just fantastic. The trees there are so huge, so beautiful, so interesting. Nobody can go there and be bored. That just can't happen! We went on a sky trail ride that was breathtaking. We went SO high, and even then, we weren't as high as the tallest trees. Nick was going to stay behind with William while we went on the ride, and at the last second changed his mind and went with us!! We all enjoyed it, even William and Katie!!
That night we went to a hotel (all of our stuff was packed that morning) and enjoyed sleeping in big soft beds! We had a great breakfast the next morning and made our way back home.
I had my times of feeling super stressed, what mother wouldn't?! I had all four of my children there, and they were happy very single minute of that trip (even if they did whine when tired), and that made me the happiest mother. We went on that adventure, all ten of us....together. We made memories that I will never forget. We shared those days and nights together, and showed the kids what family is about. Being happy together, making memories and enjoying every day.