Growing up often means that those we love the most scatter and settle apart. The distance makes me sad, but it also makes our times together so much sweeter.
My sister, Kelsey, and brother (in-law, if I have to use that term), Johnathon, had an idea for a family camping trip. They made the six hour drive with my parents to our house. Johnathon’s parents, Tommy and Tia, live six hours north of Eric and I and they were able to come as well! Oh! And I can’t forget their dog, Jake, who was our faithful mascot!
Eric and I have only been in the area for a short while, so we were not sure where to go tent camping. I researched, talked with friends, and researched some more. In the midst of our planning, Kelsey and Johnathon shared the wonderful news that they are expecting their first child! At six months pregnant, we wanted to make sure Kelsey was as comfortable as one can possibly be… in a tent while pregnant. (She is one tough gal who did not complain once!)
The website of the spot I found said it was a “rustic” campground, but it seemed to have everything we needed. Bathrooms, a cool body of water, plenty of space and shade… it would seem I had found the perfect camping spot. Well, that was my hope as I had yet to actually visit it.
The highly anticipated day finally arrived. The campground was beautiful. Each camping spot was separated and surrounded by trees and the beautiful lake was within walking distance.
However, I quickly learned the importance of definitions. It was a “rustic” campsite. Sleeping in a tent on the ground seemed to define “rustic” to me. Our arrival to the campground soon revealed a surprise in the form of “rustic toilets,” aka: a plastic seat strategically placed over a hole in the ground.
When we had gone camping growing up, we had always used a tent but had access to modern plumbing. Based off of my previous experiences, it never occurred to me that the little bathroom symbol on the site map would be anything less than a toilet that flushed. Now, we can “rough” it just fine for a couple of days (because it really wasn’t that bad unless your stomach was upset *ahem*), but we were caught a bit off guard!
Still, the site was nice and we had the best time together! The boys were in their element: dirt, sticks, and water!
Tia organized a surprise baby shower for Kelsey and Johnathon since our families rarely have the opportunity together! She is such a sweet blessing to Kelsey which makes me adore Tia all the more!
No camping trip would be complete without scary stories around the fire, right? Johnathon and my dad kept telling the boys about the “tree people.” You’ll have to come camping with us if you want to hear the whole story of the “tree people.” One night, my dad disappeared to “go get something” from his tent. Johnathon took the oldest two boys for a walk to go look for him. My dad started hollering for help (maybe not the best idea on a campground with other people, ha). It wasn’t long before the boys encountered the “tree people.” Don’t worry, they were not a bit scared because Mr. Logical (Spock) had figured it out almost as soon as my dad made his exit.
We enjoyed the camping trip so much that there is talk of making this an annual family trip!
After two days of camping, we came back to our house and had one more evening together. My mom, sister, and I went out for dinner before we came back to enjoy the evening with the guys.
I am so thankful for the time we had to spend with one another and the new memories we made. I love these people greatly and it makes me sad to go our separate ways again when “next time” seems so far away. However, there is MUCH to look forward to because when we get the opportunity to take a picture like this again, a special little someone will be in our arms!
P.S – Thank you SO much for the awesome “Auntie Bear” shirt, Kels and Brother Bear! It couldn’t be more perfect!