Life Lessons from Camping in the Rain

We spent the weekend camping as a family, and most of the time it rained except for small breaks on Saturday and all day Sunday, when we were packing up to leave. As one can expect, the weekend had some highs and lows, but all in all I’d still call it a good one. When I thought about it, there definitely were some life lessons that could be gleaned from camping in the rain:

  1. Life’s Messy – you’re GOING to get dirty, especially at a muddy campsite that has soaked up rain for 15 hours! We have this screened in entry way into our tent, and it just had puddle and mud from our shoes all over. I kept trying to wipe a bit up with towels, but just had accept that it was going to stay dirty until it could dry out. Fortunately everything DID get cleaned up, multiple loads of laundry later. So go ahead and accept the dirt! There will always be a load of laundry to do.
  2. You’re not in control – This is a big one for me, as someone who loves to plan. I look at my lists and pack as best as I can for camping, but you certainly cannot plan the weather, as much as we’d like to. We woke up to rain Friday night that continued practically ALL day Saturday. This changed our hiking plans, and so we found a small coffee shop, where we grabbed breakfast, hung out, and later drove to meet my parents for a visit and lunch. We found joy and fun in the unexpected, reminding me to embrace whatever life and weather brings!

    beautiful latte

    When it rains, go enjoy a latte! This one was so pretty & delicious.

  3. Good Things Take Time – Everything takes longer when you’re camping, and in preparing meals, this is so true. Some of our most memorable meals are when we’re camping. This summer we grilled salmon and red potatoes over the fire. We’ve had elaborate breakfasts – omelettes, fried potatoes, bacon & toast over the fire or on our camp stove. Plus there’s nothing like a perfectly toasted marshmallow on a s’more! It’s all so good eating al fresco and well worth the wait!
  4. Unplug – We didn’t really occupy ourselves or our kids with electronics the entire weekend, even with the rain. My daughter and I enjoyed coloring pictures together at the coffee shop and in the tent. Daddy O. and the kids fished in the drizzle. We played games as a family and took a hike when the sun finally came out. We hung out around the fire. It was good, quality time together as a family….and not that we didn’t have our “moments” when the tent became a time-out location because we did. Cram four people into a tent and moments will teeter between harmony and discord. It just happens.

    Mama O and family camping on a sunny day

    One our our first camping trips as a family. We were on a nature hike in this picture and loving the sunny day in the great outdoors!

  5. Appreciation for Non-camping – We came home last night, started unpacking and cleaning up. My shower felt so luxurious compared to the 3 minute shower I took at the campsite. We slept great in our own beds without a 3am wake up and walk outside to the bathroom. I returned home with a thankful heart, feeling blessed for the time with these precious people in such a beautiful setting.

Though we’ve only been camping for the last three summers, I know it’s something that we will continue for years to come because it’s such a valuable, relaxing time to be together as a family. Simply put, it’s good for us all, mind, body, and soul.We always walk away thinking, “Next time we should pack that,” or “let’s try this camping spot next summer,” so we will be at it again with new places to explore and more memories to make together.

Fly on the Wall: Cuckoo Gaga Cray Cray

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 10 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Here’s who you’ll be hearing from:

  • Me, Mama O.
  • Daddy O.
  • Big Sister, age 6
  • Little Brother, age 4

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links at the bottom of my post for a peek into some other homes:

Can you Hear Me Now?

Ever feel like family members don’t listen to you? This happens all the time with my kids and happened recently with Daddy O. It went like this:

Me: There are extra english muffins in the freezer if you want some.

Two minutes later, Daddy O: Do we have english muffins?

Me: Big sister likes blueberries now.

Two minutes later, Daddy O to Big Sister: Do you like blueberries?

Me: Honestly, you didn’t hear me say those two things just minutes ago? Sigh…

Fashion Feedback

I did some shopping online and we had some interesting reactions to what I found.

Big sister: This is our like a belt on my sandal! I love them. (The “belt strap” is by her heel.)

Sandals

Adorable- do they come in my size?

Little Brother: Shirts should cover my privates. (Upon trying on his new size 5 shirt, it covered his privates.)

Daddy O.: No, shirts don’t have to do that. I think Mom was saying that she likes shirts that cover her privates when she wears leggings.

Mama O in workout gear

This is an example of what I mean – I like a longer top to cover my “privates” when I wear leggings / spandex. This is my workout gear with #noMakeup #noFilter

I don’t always look cute when I workout. I also have these mannish, padded bike shorts. I’ll take function, comfort, and a good workout over cuteness anytime!

wpid-20130626_114256-1.jpg

Me: (reacting to another online purchase) Isn’t the back of this sports bra cute?

Back detail of new sports bra (same yoga outfit as above).

Daddy O: Isn’t that like something Kendall Jenner would wear?

Me: Ugh. Did you really just say that?! How do you know what she wears?

Daddy O: I read it online.

Me: Wow, what a great way to spend your lunch hour! (Why did I ask? As a side note, cute sports bras are NOT comfortable. Don’t buy this kind of stuff online if you can’t return it. Ugh..but at least I won’t be wearing something that causes my husband to compare me to Kendall Jenner!)

Where do they come up with this?

Daddy O: Don’t be Cuckoo Gaga Cray Cray! (to Big Sister) Eat your breakfast.

Me: Wow, you came up with that one?

Daddy O: Yes, I guess I did.

Me: A new low in parenting, Daddy! That sounds like something from that Barbie show – lol. (Or possibly a new high in parenting as he relates to our 6 year old daughter – ha)

I’ve been calling Big Sister my mini-me for some time. Here we are together in a selfie that she didn’t want to be in:

Mama O and Mini Me

Anyway, she told me this week, “If I’m your mini-me, then you are my big-me.” Good point, but mini-me sounds way cuter! We talked about this last month, and she suggested I’d have white hair in a few months. It’s tough being the “big-me” I guess!

Mealtime Goofiness

Big sister to Little Brother (who was acting goofy at dinner): You can never be president!

Me: like he’s acting so weird that this would be brought up if he ran for president? Hmm when you were 4 we heard you had bad table manners.

Little Brother: (eating grapes) This tastes like chicken. (What?!)

Day Without the Kids

We had a very fun Saturday out, meeting family to canoe / kayak and go on a brewery tour. As usual, we were cutting it a bit close and should have left earlier.

Daddy O: What’s our ETA?

Me: Late!

Truth be told we were actually right on time. The rental place on the river opened right at the time of our canoe rental, so we made it! YES!

More Fantastic Fly Posts

Now, shoo fly & click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado                   http://www.bakinginatornado.com/

Menopausal Mother                    http://www.menopausalmom.com/

Spatulas on Parade                     http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

Searching for Sanity                    http://singlemumplusone.blogspot.com

Never Ever Give Up Hope             http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy         http://dinoheromommy.com/

Southern Belle Charm                   http://www.southernbellecharm.com

Eileen’s Perpetually Busy               http://eileensperpetuallybusy.blogspot.com/

Molly Ritterbeck                             http://mollyritterbeck.com/

 

Timely Kids Book: Amelia Bedelia 4 Mayor

I read Amelia Bedelia 4 Mayor by Herman Parish to my kids, and it was a hoot!

I remember enjoying Amelia Bedelia stories as a kid, so it’s really fun to re-read some of them to my own kids. There are so many idioms in the English language, and it is funny to see Amelia Bedelia do exactly what she’s told.

Here are some of the highlights that we really enjoyed:

Amelia Bedelia 4 Mayor by Herman Parish

A few pages we liked from Amelia Bedelia 4 Mayor.

“We need some change” a reporter said.

“Here’s 43 cents.” said Amelia Bedelia.

And then her words are twisted by a reporter when the major says that we doesn’t have two cents.

“Mayor Thomas doesn’t have any sense?” asked a reporter. “Is that what you just said?”

Amelia Bedelia clarifies what she said, and more silliness ensues.

A few pages later, Amelia Bedelia is advised by her employer, Mr. Rogers, who shares that most voters are undecided, or “sitting on the fence.”

I love the illustration, which is what Amelia Bedelia imagines, saying that it means, “Sore bottoms.”

This book was really cute, and it was appropriate for this (and most any) election cycle. Many people are calling for change and want honest politicians who have plans that make sense. Don’t we all get a little sore from all the mud-slinging and spin that media puts on it all? Since I’m not “on the fence,” I am just ready to cast my vote in November and move on.

What’s a fun kid’s book that you’ve read lately that seems appropriate for current events today? What authors do you enjoy sharing with your kids from your own childhood?