got tent?

Back in the BK period of our marriage (Before Kids), Ian and I used to enjoy tent camping.  Sometimes "car camping" in campgrounds, sometimes backpack camping on trails.

It wasn't totally uncommon for us to find an empty weekend on the calendar, make reservations somewhere, toss our tent and some supplies in the car, and head out.

There's just something about leaving the rat race behind and fully appreciating God's creation.

In the last five years though, our tent, campstove, sleeping bags and lanterns have been collecting some serious dust.  If we weren't seeking a new normal with the family upsized by one, we were deep in the paperchase to bring someone home and taking a weekend to camp just didn't seem practical.  The closest we got to camping was two kids ago when we went as a family of four to Yellowstone ~ where we stayed in a cozy little Kabin.   (couldn't see flying our gear out west along with a stroller and two kids...)

Enter this weekend.  Saturday was both a day at the beginning of Kylie's spring break AND a rainy day.  That made for a perfect pajama day to get some spring cleaning around our house done.  While in the garage getting a few tools for an odd project, the kids spotted some of our camping gear.  And the badgering began.

Saturday was much too wet, but the girls managed to turn on the charm and somehow convince their daddy that Sunday was THE DAY to sleep in a tent for the first time.  No matter that Ian had to go to work today.

Of course our tent was just a three man, and while our kids are small, it was going to be way too tight for anyone to get a decent shot at rest.  Thankfully we were able to borrow a very spacious six (or eight maybe ~ it was HUGE) man tent from friends and managed to get it set up without any trouble.

There was a jovial atmosphere as we walked home with friends from our first walk to the frozen yogurt shop for the season.  My four practically bounded up the stairs to brush teeth and put on their pajamas so we could get out to the sleeping bags and blankets they had so carefully arranged before dark.

Ian read a story, I read Dinosaurumpus (Daniel's current "can't sleep until I hear it" book), then bible story, family prayers and we all laid down.  There were a few comments about the beauty of the moon which we could see through the top of the tent (decided to go without the rain fly) and a quick round of "I see the moon..."  Then within minutes I could hear the deep rhythmic breathing of the rest of my family.

Amazingly enough, everyone slept quite soundly.  I like to think it was contentedness from all being so close together, though it may have been simply from exhaustion of the weekend.  Whatever the reason, we got a request from the kids as a whole for us to sleep in a tent again, this time somewhere else so we can see new things.

I suppose it will be quite some time before we are blazing trails with backpacks on our backs for camping.  I mean, with the amount our kids eat, we'd have to take a pack mule to carry our food!  But we're planning to take advantage of KOA Kampgrounds "Come Kamp & Care With Us" weekend in May.  It may not be fully roughing it, but it is a step in that direction.  Wherever we end up, we'll spend some time hiking and exploring our surroundings away from our campsite.

And I'm looking forward to spending some time with my family in the great outdoors...


Laurie said...

Although I am for sure more of a hotel girl than a tent girl, I can't help but think this looks like a LOT of fun! Hope you have fun on your next adventure! :)

Amy Murphy said...

That's awesome! I wish my husband enjoyed camping and hiking more... I used to love it! Hope you guys can get back into it now with the kids getting bigger. :)

Jennie kowaleski said...

Love it! Lily loves to camp and snuggle up close when doing so. Funny, we JUST got back from looking at a pop up camper that RJ wants to buy. It seems it maybe a little too wide to fit in our garage with my car, boohoo... Insert! :)

Traci said...

Looks fun! Nothing wrong with a little KOA!

Nancy said...

That is awesome! I miss camping alot. We haven't gone since the summer Noah was about 14 months old. The summer he was 2, I was pregnant and the summer he was 3, we had a newborn! I doubt we'll go this summer since we have new walker but maybe we'll do the backyard.

Andrea said...

I love their smiles of anticipation! I do love camping and even sleeping in the tent. The quiet of the campground in the morning is my favorite time. We probably won't do much camping here just because of the bugs and centipedes!

Kathy said...

I'm so excited for you - camping is a wonderful way to share special family time!! Lots of fun times ahead - and adventures!!

Wife of the Prez said...

We love to camp but we ditched the tent (well Daddy still goes with the older boys and they use it for those trips) about 2 kids ago!

We have a camper, but we love being outdoors and our big boys will sometimes set up the tent to sleep in (Daddy and I prefer our bed in the camper :).