Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

To Mark...thanks for helping raise the coolest kids around! You are the spirit of our family and we love you!

Dads

Dads2

To my Dad...thanks for always being so cool in so many ways! : )

Pop Car

Monday, June 7, 2010

Camping Days

Last week Mark took the whole week off - yahoo! We hung around at home for a few days, worked on some house projects and then took off for a big family adventure - camping! We had camped for one night last fall at a site on Falls Lake, very close to our house. We called that our "tester". It was pretty much a success with the kiddos, so we decided we could handle a few nights of it. This time, we headed up to Blowing Rock, NC and camped at the Julian Price Park Campground. We timed it so we could take the kiddos to Tweetsie Railroad to spend a "Day Out with Thomas"....more on that later.

No doubt the camping spot you choose can definitely make or break your trip. Weather too. We lucked out with both. We found a great spot right on Price Lake with our own little private nook by the lake. The kids loved that little nook.

Campsite1
We got a family size tent right before our trip and it worked out great.

New Tent
Joe never figured out that you're supposed to sleep on the air mattresses. He thought it was his own little backcountry bouncehouse.

Backcountry Bouncehouse

We made some GOOD food on this trip. When we used to camp, Mark and I would spend so much time hiking, meals were minimal. This time, we had fun with it...even made blueberry pancakes one morning! But, at the end of the day, there is just one food that really matters - marshmallows. I think Maggie said the word marshmallows about 100 times in 10 minutes. No. Joke.

Marshmallows

Hello Marshmallow

Joe's Security Buddies

During the day, we mosied around the park, spent some time in Blowing Rock, and drove on the parkway. We also enjoyed a couple of short hikes in the area. First we went to Linville Falls and hiked to the Upper Falls. It proved to be a beautiful spot to stop for a snack and some nice pictures.

Family Linville Falls

Mark & Mags

Mags

Looking at the Falls

The falls were awesome! I admit I'm pretty uptight when it comes to some aspects of nature...I really don't do heights, or raging waterfalls, or little ones leaning on walls to observe raging waterfalls. Thankfully they were only briefly interested in the waterfall and I held my breath.

Probably one of my favorite moments of the whole trip was the walk back from the falls. Maggie danced and sang the whole way back. She has recently taken to watching Robin Hood, as in the 70s animated Robin Hood. She was humming and marching and swinging her arms around to the tune of this:

Oo-de-Lally:

Robin Hood and Little John
Walkin' through the forest
Laughin' back and forth
At what the other'ne has to say
Reminiscin', This-'n'-thattin'
Havin' such a good time
Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally
Golly, what a day
Never ever thinkin' there was danger in the water
They were drinkin', they just guzzled it down
Never dreamin' that a schemin' sherrif and his posse
Was a-watchin' them an' gatherin' around
Robin Hood and Little John
Runnin' through the forest
Jumpin' fences, dodgin' trees
An' tryin' to get away
Contemplatin' nothin'
But escape an' fin'lly makin' it
Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally
Golly, what a day
Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally
Golly, what a day

Oo-De-Lally

Oo-De-Lally2

It was priceless and when I came home and actually read the lyrics I thought, "wow, how appropriate!". I am continuously amazed at that little girl and everything that comes out of her.

In summary, I think we are a camping family...which is a good thing!! Maggie loved it, Joe is still a little on the fence. There were definitely some lessons learned from this trip. But what we'll really remember was slowing down, disconnecting, and enjoying each other.

Viaduct

Mags Overlooking Price Lake

Campground Fun

Reflection

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summatime

I feel like I have come full circle with summer. As a kid, I loved it. What kid doesn't?? No school, pool time, vacations, lightning bugs, playing into the night ("kick the can" anyone??). However, the older I got the less I enjoyed it. It became "the months of hot and sticky", frizzy hair, sunburns, and most recently feeling like I was staring out my office window at sunshine all day long. Enter kiddos and my distinct privilege of being able to stay home with them. All of a sudden, summer seems so grand. We hardly have to get dressed in the mornings. We play outside, we're always dirty, we blow bubbles, we plant flowers, we fill things with water and make a huge mess, we swing and slide. And as I write this, I'm sitting on the deck having a beer - I see deer wandering in the woods, I hear tree frogs and birds, I'm surrounded by beautiful blooming things. Life really is grand! I think she gets it...

Swiiiiing

Sprinkler Fun

Cheeks

Bubbles

And we haven't even been to the pool yet...