We recently had the opportunity to camp out as a family with our ward, (tents and all), at a local neighborhood park less than 2 miles from home. Sounds easy, right?
I'm not going to lie, it was the most hilarious, awful, wonderful, and difficult camping experience we've EVER had as a family. The night program was fun--everyone brought their own food and set up camp chairs and tents and talked. We had a campfire sort of deal where we roasted mallows and ate s'mores with Reece's Peanut Butter cups, thanks to Merri. We had a totally fun dancing wii game set up for everyone--yes, I danced with my big pregnant belly because Tyson felt like he needed me and Mitch to be over there in order for him to have fun with all the bigger kids. He told us, "Did you know that dancing is a form of exercise." Smart kid--no one else thought I was exercising, though, they thought I was trying to induce labor. Haha! There was also a movie with TONS of kettle corn made all by Mitch. And THEN...the camping challenge began!
11pm: Emmett finally stopped talking and zonked out.
11:15: I finally fell asleep even though the wind was extremely loud
11:55: The air mattress I was on was mostly deflated
12:00: I had to go to the bathroom
12:15: Mitch wouldn't wake up to move the baby and air up the mattress so I toughed it out
12:55 I REALLY REALLY had to go to the bathroom and Mitch aired our mattress back up while I was gone
12:59 I return and we try to get comfortable
1:01: It begins to rain
1:05--We got RAINED ON IN OUR TENT
1:06--Flashlight pans over to the kids' mattress to see that they're gettting rained on, too.
1:07--Mitch runs out in the rain to re-secure the rain fly
1:10--We move all the wet blankets of the kids and thank our lucky stars they're still asleep
1:15--We try to get situated again and I gracefully almost break Mitchell's arm falling into bed and we start giggling because it's such a ridiculous situation
1:30--we finally fall asleep despite the noise from the wind and the rain and the recent ADRENALINE rush
1:31--Emmett wakes up and has to pee, and he has issues standing at the door of the tent because it's raining and he starts to cry that it's raining in our tent.
1:45--Emmett is in new dry clothes and starts to fall asleep
1:50--Mitch's quote of the night, "Who would have thought that camping 2 miles from home would be so hard core? No, you have to go ALL OUT when you camp at the park."
1:59--we doze slightly
2:00--a donkey starts to breigh
2:15--a ROOSTER starts to crow
3:00--The wind blows our tent
4:00--The wind blows our tent and wakes us up
5:00--the wind is STILL blowing our tent, and the airmattress has been flat again for an hour, now.
5:30--my back hurts like crazy and I can't roll over.
5:45--We're DONE trying to sleep, we walk outside and it sounds calm and peaceful--but inside the tent it still sounds like a hurricane.
Tyson loved camping
Emmett loved sleeping
Tyson and friends fed the goats leaves
Emmett chilled by the campfire
Mitch made the morning campfire out of wet wood and paint thinner. We kind of helped with breakfast, definitely helped to eat it, and everyone was packed and home by 9am. It was the shortest as well as LONGEST camping trip I've ever taken. But what's funny is that we had so much fun and in the middle of the night when it would have seemed that I should have been crying or upset, we were actually laughing instead. That was actually one of the happiest nights I've had in a long time where I had essentially NO SLEEP whatsoever. So glad we survived the ward campout. : )