Carpe Diem (campfire style)

We almost didn't go camping this weekend.  We had planned on going on last weekend but got rained out.  The weather this weekend was spectacular but in truth we've been kind of busy.  We both had things we had to do this weekend.  Jason has school work to do and I have started teaching part-time at an art studio in town (more on that soon) and I had a class on Saturday.  We talked about not going but then thought about  how the kids are growing up so fast.  Now is the time to make memories.  So, we seized the moment and made camping work.  It was a great decision. We needed to have some time with our family and each other.  Since we both had to be away from camp for a couple of hours on Saturday, we each got some one  on one time with the kids. Jason and I had the best time staying up late talking by the campfire.  I know camping isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it is one of my very favorite things.  I love to be outside and I love to unplug.  I have a little rule for myself, no phone when camping.  It is great for me to totally unplug from emails, facecbook, instagram and so on.  A nice little reminder of how to be totally present.  I'm glad we went.  If we wait for life to slow down to make memories we'd miss out on so much.

We decided to hit up Harrison Bay State Park.  It is the closest campground to our house.  Only 20 minutes away and located between our house and Jason's work.  We'd never camped there before because in our pre-kid days, we liked to go to more remote locations.  The park is on a large tract of land and it feels more isolated than it is.  But, the park itself is big and pretty busy. It was perfect for the kids.  Lots of things to do.  Plenty of walking, fishing and playing.  The park rangers were great and they had a fun little story time and bonfire on Saturday night.  The campers in the park were super nice too.  One campsite was home to a big bluegrass band.  There were 15 people playing everything from bangos to upright basses.  It was the perfect background music to our dinner and campfire.  Harrison Bay is just a great place for a quick weekend trip.

I'd like to note, our trip wasn't without folly.  We had an issue with our campsite and had to switch sites.  It worked out, but there were a few moments when it was dicey.  The boys were great but they had their whiny moments.   We also had a raccoon sneak into the screened in area of our tent., unzip our soft cooler and help itself to our Saturday night dinner.  Then our dog got mad at us for leaving her alone and put a hole in our new tent. And, Henry got some ticks on him.  Apparently my all natural insect repellent wasn't enough to ward off some "seed ticks."  Jason found them, but it wasn't a big deal.  Except for Henry, he was already tired and trying to pull ticks off a melodramatic four year old is a pretty daunting task.  He kept whining and crying.  It was so stressful and I can't believe someone didn't report us to the park rangers.  To hear Henry you would have thought we were beating him.  Basically, I'm just saying, things don't have to be perfect to still have a perfect weekend.  The boys are really helping us to learn the art of rolling with the punches.  Laughing about calamity and enjoying the moment and the memories we are making.


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We took a picnic to this spot a couple years back, look at how small the boys were.

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Check out our ginormous new tent.  Craigslist score!  The best part, it has a freaking light.  A light.  It has a battery operated LED light that illuminates the whole tent.  It made camping with the littles so much easier.  I  love this tent.

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The light.  It was amazing.  I love the sun in the fall, the shadows and sunburst this weekend were nothing short of magical.


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Lots of rock throwing.

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We also lounged on a porch style swing and just took it easy.

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There are moments when Alex still looks like a baby.  Just glimpses... he growing up so fast.

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The deer in the park weren't scared of people.  At all.  The top photo was taken right after Jason left.  I was reading my book while the boys played around the campsite.  I glanced up and there were deer 10 feet from my tent.  Crazy.  The boys really loved the deer too.  Alex kept telling them hello.

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They are playing so well together these days.  Every now and then they are fussy but mostly they get along great.

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We didn't catch any fish but we stumbled upon  a "catch and release" fishing tournament and the fisherman were super nice.  They let the boys touch and look at their fish.  One of the really big fish did wiggle free and flop on the dock at my feet.  I totally flipped out. I hate live fish, they freak me out.  I know it is weird but I can't help it.  The boys just kept watching me squeal and jump around as the fish flopped all over the place.  At one point Henry looked at me and said "mom, it is only a fish."

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We got this little pour over cup from amazon on the cheap for Jason to use at work.  We are serious about good coffee.  We decided to take it camping.  It was perfect.  We usually take our french press but this was easier to clean and we didn't have to worry about breaking it.  If you camp and drink coffee you need one.

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And lastly, me and my crew minus (Jason who was taking the photo).  I loved this weekend.  Even as I face the gigantic pile of laundry I have, it was still totally worth it.

Here is to making time for memories, even when there isn't much time!