Special Occasions

Fake Camping

First before I write about our little weekend adventure, let me say that I was totally overwhelmed by the response to my last post. Isn’t it funny how we convince ourselves that we’re the only ones struggling with these feelings, but when you open up, you hear so many other mommas saying, “Yes. I get it.” I know that I addressed families that look like mine (because that’s what I know obviously), but there are so many different situations out there. I have friends who have one child because they adopted, and adding to the family isn’t as easy as planning a pregnancy. I have several friends whose marriages didn’t go as they imagined they would, and now they find themselves doing the extremely hard work of being a single mom. Then there are my friends who everything has seemingly gone exactly as they planned, but now they have to live out the daily grind of that dream of having 3 or 4 kids, and it’s just tough when you’re in the thick of it. So what I’m learning is that we all have good days and then we all are struggling. Because that’s the nature of life, and definitely the nature of life when you’re raising little ones. Some of us are being asked why our children don’t have siblings and some are being asked if they know what causes pregnancy. All of us are probably getting told how to parent however many kids we have when they meltdown in Publix. We’re all taking verbal hits from time to time, and there’s not much we can do to stop people from doing that. But what we can do is watch what we say to each other, realizing that words of encouragement can go a long way when spoken to a weary momma. That whole “think before you speak” lesson that our mothers tried to teach us comes to mind. Thank you ladies for the encouragement you’ve offered in person and through this blog and social media. I think motherhood is a journey best taken with friends instead of trying to navigate the ins and outs and all the feelings alone.

That was a longer detour than I intended. Back to the post at hand.

You know when things don’t go as planned? Pretty much daily if you’re a mom, right? Well we had been telling Lincoln for a few weeks that we were going camping with our church. He’s been before, but it’s been a while. When I first said that we were going, he said, “I GET MARSHMALLOWS?!?!” The way to a man’s heart and all. Thursday was supposed to be my day to grocery shop and pack, but instead I spent the day laid up in bed in total misery with a stomach bug. As I’m texting my mom to tell her that I don’t think I can go camping, the campground calls to say that they’re closed because of the government shutdown. So just like that, our weekend plans came to a screeching halt. Lincoln was less than thrilled to learn the news, so we improvised.

I asked Mike if he’d set up our tent in the backyard, and thankfully he was down for a little backyard camping. You know what? Lincoln was just as happy hanging out in our yard. Who knew? Now if only I could get the government to send me back the money I paid for our campsite…..Right. Wishful thinking.

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In the interest of full disclosure, we did not stay in the tent all night. It became apparent at some point that Lincoln was never going to calm down and sleep there. He was wound up. We played in the tent, read stories, laid down and looked at the sky, talked about the planets and stars…but we ended up in our own comfortable beds. Best camping ever.

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The next day, I was getting a little stir crazy after a few days of being isolated from the outside world due to my sickness, so we visited our favorite local farm. Seriously, the cutest place ever. You may remember Lincoln’s 2nd birthday party that we had here. It’s where we go every year to get pumpkins in October and our Christmas tree in December.

His first visit in 2011.

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Somewhere in that field behind him is our Christmas tree! We’re coming for you in a few weeks!

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Sometimes I look at this face and marvel that he’s really mine. Cutest kid ever. (Totally a mom thing to say, I know.)

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So much bigger than the first time we brought him to this farm.

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My little adventurer. He wanted to do the big zip line instead of the kid one. So brave in some situations and so uncertain in others.

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Just ignore the recently-had-the-worst-stomach-bug-ever and still-kind-of-dehydrated look I have going on. At least the boys are cute.

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We finished off our camp-at-home weekend with s’mores on the back patio.

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As disappointing as the weekend began, we were able to salvage it and turn it into a fun few days together. Since I was still recovering from being sick, spending the majority of the weekend lounging in the back yard and hanging around the house together was perfect. Cuddling in that tent and seeing Lincoln so excited for something as silly as a fake camping trip makes my momma heart happy. Such a reminder that kids don’t need big, elaborate events to have a good time. They really are just happy to be with their family and play outside. I didn’t even have to pack us up and sleep on the ground and be without electricity. Score.

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