Our First Family Camping Trip

I must really love my husband and my son.

I actually went camping this past weekend.

You have to understand, I am not an outdoorsy girl. I have never been camping in my life and really don’t understand the allure in pretending to be homeless for a night.

But having kids makes you do strange things, so this weekend my husband and son and I went camping.

It was civilized; we had a camp site and set the tent up right by our car. Our site was also in good proximity to the bathrooms, because I’m sorry, but no way am I peeing in the woods. We had sleeping bags and blankets and even an outdoor air mattress. We were for a brief time; only enough to set up camp, build a fire, cook hot dogs and s’mores, and sleep in the tent. We packed up and went apple and pumpkin picking the next morning. Dare I say it, but I actually had fun! My husband is an Eagle Scout and grew up camping and back packing with his Dad and brothers. While I don’t think I’ll ever love THAT, I did have fun with just one night out in the woods with my boys. And I loved how excited my son was about it. The best part was that a deer came right up into our camp site! Despite my reluctance, we really did have a great time. And the views were gorgeous.

 

My big boy in the mountains!

My big boy in the mountains!

Mountain View

Mountain View

So gorgeous!

So gorgeous!

Our tent all set up!

Our tent all set up!

Getting the fire started

Getting the fire started

Look at these handsome camping boys!

Look at these handsome camping boys!

Enjoying the fire. And some junk food.

Enjoying the fire. And some junk food.

The tent set up

The tent set up

The fire set up

The fire set up

Our camp site

Our camp site

So you see this deer?? It came right up to our camp site! I love the excited look on my son's face. :)

So you see this deer?? It came right up to our camp site! I love the excited look on my son’s face. :)

So beautiful. And so close!

So beautiful. And so close!

Breaking down the tent. He was such a good helper!

Breaking down the tent. He was such a good helper!

The next morning, we went apple picking in the mountains.

The next morning, we went apple picking in the mountains.

Love this one of my apple picking boys.

Love this one of my apple picking boys.

I love this picture. He has gotten so big and he was so good at collecting all of the apples!

I love this picture. He has gotten so big and he was so good at collecting all of the apples!

My happy pumpkin picking boy and his apple cider.

My happy pumpkin picking boy and his apple cider.

We had such an amazing time and it was a wonderful way to kick off the Fall season.

Do you have any good camping stories?

Find more Wordless Wednesday (Or Wordful Wednesday if you still need a story) posts here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter 2013

Occasionally, when my husband’s schedule allows it, we like to go big for holidays. Last year we (kind of randomly) went big for St. Patrick’s Day. This year (more appropriately) we went big for Easter.

This Easter weekend, we were able to have a rare family night Friday night which we used to go out for Mexican dinner and clean the house together to get ready for the Easter bunny! The Easter bunny was coming Friday night because my husband had to work a night shift Saturday. Early Saturday morning we woke up to find the fun goodies left by the Easter bunny, and then we headed to a local park that does a large Easter egg hunt every year. We got there in time to have a wonderful egg hunt, play in the park, and enjoy the activities like the music, moon bounce  and slide. We even had a food truck lunch.

After that we experienced yet another novelty in our lives; the chance to go to the mall together. We racked up on new shoes for the boys and then headed home for a much needed family nap. After the hubs headed off to work the toddler and I enjoyed a quiet evening and went to bed.

Sunday morning the hubs was still at work and my son and I had to wake up extra extra early so I could be at choir rehearsal. My sweet little guy sat and watched our entire rehearsal before I dropped him off at Sunday school and sang through two church services. My husband met us at church and then we all headed over to a friend’s house for a wonderful afternoon of Easter dinner and fun.

And without further ado, I present to you the cutest little toddler ever in his Easter best.

Easter 2013 005

Easter 2013 006

Easter 2013 010

Easter 2013 018

Easter 2013 027

Easter 2013 029

Easter 2013 030

Easter 2013 035

Easter 2013 036

Easter 2013 041

Easter 2013 059

Easter 2013 069

Easter 2013 076

Easter 2013 079

Easter 2013 092

Easter 2013 095

Easter 2013 096

Easter 2013 097

Easter 2013 098

Easter 2013 104

Easter 2013 108

Easter 2013 115

Easter 2013 123

Easter 2013 143

Easter 2013 150

Easter 2013 151

Easter 2013 153


Easter 2013 167

Easter 2013 169

Easter 2013 172 2

Easter 2013 174

Easter 2013 189

 

 

 

Happy Easter!

 

 

 

The Rarity of Spontaneity

My husband and I are not spontaneous. Ever.

Due to my husband’s schedule as an anesthesia resident, his hours of down time are very limited  Anything we do has to be planned way in advance, written down on the paper calendar in the kitchen, and synced on our Google calendars. I will literally write: “Family Day: trip to Target” on the calendar in order to make that happen.

Things have gotten especially hectic in our little world lately since my husband’s hours remain intense, I have been working hard in rehearsals for an upcoming Christmas show, and I’m just now dealing with the stress of my in-laws inviting themselves up here for Thanksgiving. When my husband won’t even be here. (That, of course, is a whole different story.)

Today, I was supposed to have rehearsal from 10 AM to 9 PM. Luckily, my husband has this entire weekend off. That is such a rarity and it is terribly unfortunate that it falls during a time when my rehearsals are getting so intense. The good news is that my son did not have to spend 11 hours in childcare today. The bad news is, it still means we get no family time.

Driving over to rehearsal this morning, I heard a commercial on the radio about a Christmas tree lighting this evening at a local outdoor mall. I thought in passing about how much fun that would be, but knew it wouldn’t be a possibility.

Then I was lucky enough to only have rehearsal until 6:30. I texted my husband and asked him and the toddler to meet me at the tree lighting to see the lights and for dinner. We both arrived around 6:45 and were just in time to join a crowd of people singing jingle bells as the giant tree was lit, pretend snow filled the air, and Santa appeared. It was perfect.

Then my husband, toddler and I fought our way through the crowds to a restaurant that had a one and a half hour wait. Normally, we would have left, but instead we decided to put our names down and wander around the shops. We enjoyed some family time shopping together and eating a late dinner before coming home.

It doesn’t happen often, but this rare night of spontaneity with my little family tonight was just perfect.

 

 

Pumpkin Patch

I don’t have a lot of words to go with this post, but in the spirit of Halloween I wanted to share one of my very favorite October traditions with you; the Pumpkin Patch.

I love going every year, and it is so much more fun now that my son is old enough to get excited about it, too.

Please enjoy some pictures of our day as we selected pumpkins, went through a straw maze, and enjoyed playing together.

PS – This top picture? Is my favorite. :)

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Fireworks, Cake, and Sleeping

Rather than bore you with a long story about how we spent our Fourth just hanging out at the house, grilling, playing outside, waiting on a Verizon worker to come fix the cable line that had fallen in our back yard, made a cake, and then walked about a mile and a half to go see fireworks, I will just show you our Fourth of July pictures.

(Click on the pictures and they will get bigger. Obviously, I do not know how to correctly add pictures to wordpress. But I did learn how to make photo collages with PicMonkey.com!)

Pretty cute, huh? We tried to be very patriotic this year. I even tried to explain to my son why we celebrate the Fourth of July by telling him, “The Fourth of July is America’s birthday.” He looked at me quizzically and then responded, “America’s not here right now. But we can still eat cake.”

This week, my little guy has also gone to summer camp. I have had every morning off for the entire week and it has flown by!

In other news, tomorrow is my five year wedding anniversary. Because we co-sleep and just due to life in general, the hubs and I realized that we have not slept together in almost three years. Not in the 50 Shades of Grey way, but in the just me and him in a bed kind of way. So tomorrow, my sister and her husband are coming down to spend the night with the toddler while we go have dinner and stay in a hotel. It will be the toddler’s very first night away from BOTH Mommy and Daddy. I am a little bit nervous! But I am also super excited about sleep. Actual, close your eyes, and wake up when you feel like it instead of when a toddler jumps on your head sleep.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and is planning a great weekend!

A Month of Busy

It’s been quiet here in this space. I have missed the ritual that has become soothing to me; this almost daily clack of a keyboard and the composition of thoughts onto a screen. I have missed the conversations with blogging friends and I have dearly missed reading the well articulated words of all the blogs I follow. I feel like I have stepped away from a part of my life.

But in doing that, I have been living a different part. After my son’s school ended at the end of May, my husband had a week of vacation. It was family time that was well overdue, since he had been on nights the entire month of May. That means we only see him for about an hour a day because he works all night and sleeps all day. It also means I can feel quite lonely and overwhelmed with the care of the toddler on my own. So for the May vacation, we decided we would stay close to home. We planned a day trip to Lurray Caverns in VA, which was only about an hour and half outside of Richmond. We packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and headed out. When we got there, we enjoyed a tour of an old car museum, a tour of the caves, and a great burger at a local restaurant. (Don’t worry, we ate the peanut butter jelly sandwiches, too. Caves make you hungry. Or at least that’s the excuse we’ll go with for our two lunches.) The toddler got to pick out “special rocks” and hasn’t stopped carrying them around since.

When we got home, we just sat around in the livingroom and ordered pizza for dinner. It was perfect.

The next morning, we packed up the car with clothes, bathing suits, and some sand buckets and headed to Virginia Beach. It was only a two-hour drive from Richmond and it rained the entire way. After checking into our hotel and resting for a minute, we headed out to the VA aquarium. It could not have been a better rainy day activity. We had a great time watching the fish and even getting to pet a sting ray. That night, we enjoyed a seafood buffet at our hotel and fell asleep to the sound of the waves from our ocean front room.

The next morning, all traces of rain were gone. We lathered ourselves in sunscreen and headed out for a day on the beach. It was perfect and we all managed to avoid sunburn while getting some much-needed sun, sandcastle building, and relaxation in. That night we went to dinner and walked on the sand in the dark with glow sticks.

When morning arrived again, it was time to go home. We loaded up the car and enjoyed one more walk on the beach before driving home and resting at our house for the remainder of the day. (And the next day, too.)

That Sunday, the last day my hubs had off, I finally got to go do something I’ve been wanting to do for two months; go meet my best friend’s baby. Due to my husband’s schedule and not wanting to bring my active toddler to meet her newborn, it took a long time to get a visit scheduled. My friend lives in North Carolina, so the day trip involved a three and a half hour drive each way. That long day was certainly worth it; the baby is beautiful.

The vacation for my husband was ending but the adventures for my son and I were still going. After I got home from my North Carolina day trip, my husband went back to work and the toddler and I began the process of a billion loads of laundry and getting the house back in place from our trip. Which then also involved re-packing and some errands, because we were about to head to Georgia.