When your daily activities are in concert with your highest priorities, you have a credible claim to inner peace. – Hyrum Smith


The Great Outdoors

Aaron and I used to be backpackers. Hiking into the woods for miles, we carried everything we needed on our backs...clothes, sleeping bags, tents, pots, pans, food, etc. It was heaven.

This type of camping is not sustainable with very small children. You'd have to make impossible choices such as, do we bring the diapers or the food? We decided to switch to car camping a few years ago. The first few experiences were...less than ideal. Babies crawling through the mud, a huge pack-n-play dominating the tent, cries piercing the still of the night.

I am happy to report that our last camping trip was fantastic! I think this was due to a combination of factors: experience, lowered expectations, and slightly older children. True, the pack-n-play still took up more than it's fair share of the tent space, and there was a bit of crying in the morning and evening, but all in all, it was a truly enjoyable trip.

My very favorite part was sleeping - well, falling asleep. At our house, the only time the kids are allowed in our bed is when Parker sneaks in at 3AM because he can't sleep or has had a bad dream. He is only permitted to stay as long as it takes for Aaron or me to drag our bottoms out of bed and take him back upstairs. However, on the camping trip, he could snuggle right down in between us all night long. I could kiss his sweet head and rest my hand on his tiny back. Maddie was a different story. We tried to allow her to sleep with us, but it was - as Aaron so accurately put it - like trying to sleep in a washing machine. She tumbled and kicked and rolled all over us. She just couldn't settle down until confined in the pack-n-play. Once inside, she was down for the count, snoring away.

We hiked, biked, played at the playground, and roasted s'mores with neighboring campers. We told spooky stories around the fire, napped in the sun, and gazed at the stars. We climbed trees, splashed in the lake, and visited with Aunt Natalie and cousin Sebastian at a nearby Applefest.

In many ways, it was an unremarkable trip. Unremarkable does not necessarily mean unmemorable, however. I remember many such trips from my own childhood and look forward to many more with my own kiddos.

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