from BEACH CAMPING.
Jason is putting my kids to bed. We just made it home. I have a fully loaded car waiting for me and loads of laundry ahead, but I must write these thoughts down before I forget them.
I sheepishly came home a day early. but technically I did have the youngest kids with a baby and no family besides these four little ducklings of mine...or should I say dolphins since we've played at the beach.
I am so dirty.
Not a big fan of camping showers. Stupid tokens.
But the big question of the day is why or why can the greatest joy of my children's life be my most hardest week of the year? Seriously I think they enjoy beach camping more than Christmas. More than Christmas!!!!!
They bike bike bike bike bike every waking moment. Darby was so excited to learn to ride a two wheeler and she cruised the whole time. When they are not biking we are at the beach. Or roasting marshmellows or playing with the fire. Which reminds me....
I totally suck at making fires. This is my third year being invited with this amazing group of women who camp without their husbands (WITHOUT HUSBANDS YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT). But see these ladies are so tough they don't even bat an eye at the no husbands part. But I am a wimp and only made it two nites. But in my defense, we are going camping in 1 day ! (did I mention that I did not grow up camping at all!) but this time with my husband, no ocean, but going boating....but also no showers. Only one nite will seem like a piece of cake. So I thought it best to come back a little early so I am not running on empty.
Luke's bike broke the second day. Darby was nice and shared with him. One time today I caught him on a little 3 year olds bike with training wheels, thats how much they loved to bike.
Nobody got lost or died. That was my goal. Seriously. We bonded. I don't know if I can ever do it again though. That was hard. And I'm not scared of hard, but that was quite hard. They all cried on the way home. My kids did not want to go. But my old babysitter future BYU student in the Fall, Alyssa offered to help me take down my camp and I knew I needed help with that and didn't know if I would get it if I left later. I am no dummy, when someone offers me help, I will take it.
Did I mention that the beach was a lot farther from the camp site than last year? That was a tough walk. With a load of stuff. So heavy I thought my arms would fall off. So far that no carrier can help when you are always (always) holding a twenty pound baby.
My kids were amazing. Luke was my champ. Darby too actually. Hmmm...who am I omitting? Good thing that one is real cute. But Luke is the man. Boy that kid is expected alot in this family. And he does it. I took so many pictures.
Did I mention that when you go beach camping that you pretty much need to pack a new set of pjs for each kid each nite because they get them so filthy? That or only let them wear their pjs in the tent. That was tricky.
My stupid replacement cell phone died as soon as I got there. So I was in the middle of no where, camping with a baby, and couldn't call anyone.
The funniest part is how okay Jason is with all of this. He wasn't the least concerned about me not having a cell phone. When I got to camp and realized the phone was of no use we had a conversation sorta like this, "If you need to reach me, call Amber, and she can give you Shay's number or you can ask Emily for Joni's number" In fact, Jason was so excited for me to go. I even heard him making movie plans at church with other guys. A couple other wives at camp were joking about that. How supportive our husbands were and the real motive.
I have had a few nite time panics the last few months thinking about beach camping. But I did it. (sort of). The kids had fun and survived. My first tin foil dinner was lame. I don't know why I have always wanted to eat one. They just seem so camp. Mine was not good and took too long to cook. Not easy when you have to hold a baby constantly. CONSTANTLY. Because remember my baby is not low key. She only loves her mama and you can't let a baby crawl around in the dirt camping.
I don't know if I have ever seen a dirtier baby. Oh man.
I am so glad to be home. Need to get this tar off my feet. Need to take a shower. I have a burnt face because I was so busy not letting one inch of my children's body to become pink that I forgot to apply sunblock ON MY FACE!!!! That must be a metaphor for something. At least they slept well at nite. All four of us on a queen blow up and Paisley in a pack in play in the tent.
Which reminds me that the stupid rodents ate a hole in my tent. Need to patch that up. They also ate off an entire nipple of a baby bottle. Nasty. Oh yes, I forgot about having to have warm bottles, that was a feat. Must forget these parts, I'll give myself one day to vent and then shake it off. I might have nightmares for the next to weeks. Crazy thing is I still hope I get invited, even though I seriously may not go. Long live beach camping. I hope you kids know how much I love you.
okay, now I've showered. Still more laundry to do. Jason unloaded car and forfeited basketball at my strong suggestion (good job Jason). Here are my thoughts.
I still love the beach. It might be the most serene and perfect place. Good for the soul. Nothing made me happier than sitting on the beach with my children playing til their hearts content and trying to add some color to my stark white legs. Even more enjoyable with the many many children around (since there were ten moms and over 40 kids) that my three kept finding each other to play with...usually to dig holes. That is love.
I can't wait to post my pictures. The good, bad and ugly of beach camping. Lots of good. I'm proud of myself. There is a lot said for that. Even if I still can feel the sting of hitting my head so many times on the dang lantern that was newly purchased for said trip (and in case we lose power at home). I wonder if it would help if I was better friends with all the women on the trip? Wonder if I would have a different experience if it was my closest friends and family instead of half of them being new people? Would it matter? but the bottom line is ....Why does it seem that the best things in life take the most work? Think about it....marriage, children, success....lots of work involved, but lots of wonderful stuff too.
So my quick review: Bad: rodents eating everything, public restrooms,fatigue, lack of sanitizer or anything sanitary, lots of dirt, mini- panic attacks keeping track of everyone, no husband, $75 for two nites since I didn't stay the whole time, big mess to clean up at home, I can't think of any else
Good: the kids slept great, stayed warm, increased camping knowledge, finally bought a camp stove that is awesome, my childrens complete and utter joy, exploring in nature, chocolate, good friends, not many bugs, the beach
Now back to work for me. Let the unloading begin.