We love to camp. The first Christmas Jonathan and I were married, our wish lists were full of camping gear, and our family outfitted us generously. Although camping with toddlers is not the idyllic forest getaway we each remember from our teenage years, our entire family still enjoys the wonder of the outdoors.
For Jonathan, the best part is making a tending a fire. For me, it's the s'mores...hands down. We are both happy to have a campfire (and s'mores) in the evening, and then do it all again after breakfast.
For the kids, it's the hot chocolate. With marshmallows. (See a sugar-high theme going on here?)
But what we really love about camping is spending some time together, with a guarantee of none of our regular interruptions.
See all that lovely green around our tent? Poison ivy - every bit of it. Hannah is old enough to understand that she needs to keep out, but Lydia has no idea. I only have it in me to run around after a two year old in Poison Ivy Land for about 16 hours, so we're strictly one-night campers...at least until the kids are older.
This trip was in the Smoky Mountains. We found this lovely stream just off the road and spent a nice morning in the water.
Of course, kids can't play in the water without someone falling in and losing their pants, right?
The next time we planned a trip, Lydia was a little sick...just enough that we didn't want her to sleep outside. So we pitched the tent in the yard. Lydia slept inside, and the rest of us (plus baby monitor) stayed outside.
And more s'mores.
Two weeks ago, we camped near Cumberland Gap in Virginia.
And look at all that grass! I was thrilled by the absence of poison ivy. And wouldn't you know it, I came home with it all over my arm. Oh well....
Since Jonathan and I both grew up camping, we hope that we can teach our girls to love it as much as we did - and still do.
So far, I think we're starting out on the right foot.