Thursday, October 13, 2016


Last month we had our ward campout...and for 3 days leading up to it, I thought seriously about bailing. But we bought a tent and Garrett was in charge of the fireside. So, Friday afternoon, after G got home from work and we loaded up a million things in the car, we headed to the mountains!

One of the coolest things about Phoenix, is that while it may be 100+ degrees outside, you can always find cooler temperatures just a short drive away. We drove about an hour and a half and found ourselves in the prettiest little wooded meadow, complete with 70 degree temperatures and the most refreshing breeze.
We let the kids roam and explore and get all kinds of dirty while we set up camp and chatted with friends. We had chips and salsa, grilled up a delicious dinner, and took plenty of nature walks! That night we gathered round the fire with the rest of the ward for some spiritual enlightenment, followed by smores and more laughing and visiting.

Rae and Johnny were enthralled by every bit of it. The frogs croaking and the crickets chirping, the moonlight shining through the branches, casting the most curious shadows, and of course living out of a tent! It was all sorts of crazy from their point of view.
When they were both marshmallowed out, we went back to the tent to get settled for bed. Garrett was off helping someone with a little injury, but I so wish he had been there with us because it was literally one of my favorite moments (hours?) of my whole life. At first the kids bounced around on the air mattress and played all kind of flashlight games on the tent walls...and they laughed and laughed and laughed. But eventually, they both settled down and cuddled up to me, and I for real thought my heart might burst with happiness. It was some combination of all the cool, fresh air, being in nature, hearing the crickets sing, and cuddling up with my two littlest people.....I was literally ALLLLL THE HEART EYES for my family, including the tiny babe that I could feel kicking inside my belly. I'm not kidding, I could pretty much feel the endorphins being released in my brain. It was magical! I decided I had to document it, because it was just so great, and this is what we got. The flash did our eyes no favors, but I seriously love this picture so so much.
A short while later, Garrett came in and joined the slumber party. I woke up a few times that night to make sure everyone was warm, and every time I was just SO happy.'s worth all the work!

The next morning the kids slept in much later than I thought (I was worried they'd be up with the sun), and we quickly resumed our nature exploring. We ate a delicious breakfast with the ward, and then the primary provided some really fun games and activities.
^ Lucy & Johnboy! ^
^all bundled up for the chilly morning ^
^ little explorers ^
I was truly so sad when it was time to go home that afternoon. We were literally seconds away from getting in the car to head home when we realized that that the kids had accidentally locked the car doors...with the keys inside. Literally everything we owned was packed up, so we had nothing. Actually, we had some chips and salsa, which definitely helped! But Johnny decided that would be a good time to poop and we didn't have anything to change him with...yikes! With the help of some good friends, we were eventually able to jimmy our way into the car, and we had a good laugh about it all!
Moral of the story? I decided that I love camping! I grew up going OFTEN, but I haven't been in years because, well, kids! But Garrett and I made a pact to just do the hard work and get out there and have fun, because gosh dang, it's so worth it! For sure we'll be going again soon!
^these people of mine, and a 17 week baby bump!^
^bringing her little potty was a last minute golden idea!!^

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