My parents and my brothers took us camping last week.
We go to Tony Grove every year, and every year we leave wishing we could stay for maybe just one more day?
It's a little piece of heaven.
When we walk around the campground we can remember the times we stayed in each campsite. The good and the not so good memories from each year.
This year's good? The weather was glorious, and we didn't even have to wear jackets as we roasted marshmallows each night. It was warm and sunny and beautiful!
The not so good? The bathrooms were all out of order. So we used port-a-potties (that were labeled with names.....George was the cleanest, but a bit farther of a walk than Jason.)
And the flies. Oh those flies. Some years they're barely noticeable, but this year they were everywhere, especially directly in your face and ears at all times.
But the kids got to run and play and climb and get oh-so-dirty, and we kept Christian alive, which was quite a task (fire pit? big rocks? cliff? tree stumps? LAKE?!? All things he really really really wanted to fall into, climb on, or jump off of.)
So, it was a perfect, happy trip and two nights just didn't seem long enough!
Grandpa helping Ellie catch a fish!
And thank goodness for that jogging stroller my parents brought! Christian took all of his naps in it, and it was the only way we could get him to sleep at night, plus sometimes it was just really really great to be able to strap him down and keep him in one place (and out of the fire!) for a minute.
I think the way she wrote her name on her cup is just too adorable.
Christian was much happier about the "push Ellie in the hammock" game than Ellie was....
Because Pokemon Go doesn't work in the mountains, my brother's brought the old school actual pokemon cards, and Nick was obsessed.
Hanging out in the hammocks!
Before we left I was talking to my neighbor about the trip and she mentioned that they are taking their littles camping for the first time next month. She said her husband keeps asking, "Will it even be fun?"
I told her that, well, camping as a parent isn't exactly fun like we're used to having, and you can pretty much plan on not sleeping at all,
but it's all for the kids.
You look at them, smiling in the dirt,
and it's ALL worth it.
(this isn't even close to the dirtiest he got...)
In the afternoon, we took all the kids down to the water and they splashed and swam and we circled the camp chairs in the shade and stayed there for hours.
Ellie and Christian didn't last long in the water because they both desperately needed naps, so Kent took one for the team and loaded them into the car (and drove to Bear Lake for a raspberry shake while they slept.....poor Kent.)
Nicholas and Sam and two of my cousin's boys took these little kayaks out and they paddled around the entire lake. When they came in for this picture sweet Ollie said, "We're just coming back from our journey!"
It really was just too cute to watch these not-so-little-anymore boys exploring and hear them laughing out there on the water together.
These kids. Camping with them (and just being with them anyway) is really the greatest.