The Campout!

[This is an extremely long and very photo heavy post. Just warning you it might be one to skip.]

Our first campout as a family in almost 5 years! The last time we went was a miserable failure so no matter how bad this one went we were determined to make it work anyway!
And I have to say upfront, there were some pretty bad moments!!
But there were WAY more fun times and good memories made than bad 🙂

So we got to the mountains really late. Like, 10pm? Really late! We meant to leave earlier but Allan has been crazy busy at work and can’t leave early and I wasn’t even ready when he got home because that week had been really awful for me and I was trying to just catch up on cleaning our house and preparing for a trip? Just hadn’t happened.
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We checked out two or three different campgrounds before settling into one at Black Canyon Lake. The other two or three were totally full. In fact, that weekend was the busiest we’ve ever seen the mountain lakes area!

I roasted hotdogs for the kids while Allan set up the tent.
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After sleeping probably less than an hour, 6am came and the kids were all up. They’d slept. I hadn’t thanks to a certain toddler.
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The kids had the time of their lives being outdoors. Living in the desert for the last four years they’ve been indoors more than is healthy for children 🙁
Their faces told me clearly what was going on in their minds, “sticks!!! dirt!!! rocks!!! trees!!! Is this heaven?!”
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Allan built them this little fort.
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We found a swing made from a garden hose! My kids (and Allan and I) thought that was pretty darn cool!! We spent quite a while hanging out at this tree, swinging and climbing 🙂
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Ember really wanted to climb up the tree with her siblings.
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And then when I climbed up without her she was devastated. (Allan took this picture)
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I had Allan hand her up to me. And she frantically signed “milk.”
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Around lunchtime we drove to Willow Springs lake to set up at a picnic table there for Brooklyn’s little birthday celebration. The whole reason we’d gone camping was because she requested a camping birthday 🙂
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The last two years Allan has been the one to buy her cake. It’s a fun way for him to feel like he did something for her birthday (since he’s so busy at work all July) and it’s extra awesome because we get the cake for free from our local Basha’s! I like free.
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I spent five minutes taking fifty pictures of her. I had a super cute outfit picked out and put together but she ended up mixing different parts of different outfits together instead. Since she’s 9 now and really wanting to be independent I let her. But I’m kinda wishing I had some pictures of her in the outfit I put together.
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She is funny with posing. I think these poses she chooses accurately portray her personality. Spunky, silly, hyper, and lots of attitude 😉
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We took a couple snaps of her pretending the balloons were carrying her away. That was her idea and we had fun with it. I have a really cool picture from this series that I’m going to print giant for her wall. I’ll share it when it’s on her wall, for now just this “outtake.” (I love this one, she’s so funny!)
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I gave the other three kids a balloon to hold and told them to hold on very tight and do not let it go. Payson let go of four or five balloons by the end of the trip. *sigh*
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Allan was walking back from our car and heard Payson crying and saw me with my camera pointed up at the sky and knew Payson must’ve let go of another balloon.
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We spent the rest of the time down by the lake.
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Allan was really happy when I let him pop all the rest of the balloons before we went home. He hates balloons. (Probably because our kids argue over them, cry over them and let them go frequently which is littering!) (oh and actually we kept two balloons for Brooklyn to bring home and have in her room)
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We let Ember play a lot in the water. She was pretty soaked by the time we were leaving so I took off all her clothes and her diaper and put my shirt on her. I tied a giant knot of fabric in the back so it would stay on her and she had a makeshift dress.
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She thought her makeshift dress was the best thing ever because…
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She could flash everyone at the lake! I ended up holding her the last ten minutes we were there because she wouldn’t leave her shirt down. lol (the extra diapers were back at the car)
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Driving home.
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Poor Sierra always falls asleep on long drives and her head is always flopping around like crazy. We try to bring blankets or pillows or use sweaters or stuffed animals to support her head but nothing ever works 🙁
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That’s the end of our very long, loaded with work, family campout. Success.

2 thoughts on “The Campout!

  • Love love the last photo of all the girls asleep. I always take lots of pics like that when we travel. Looks like a great camping trip. Makes me want to try it with our kids now.

  • Love all the pics! I always swear I am going to take my kids camping, but as a single mom I'm not so sure about it. I think now, thanks to your awesome inspiration, I'm going to try it over a weekend and see how it goes! My kids will be grateful 🙂

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