I have always been a camper.
a tent camper.
none of this RV fake camping nonsense.
my first trip was when I was six months old.
I am sure it was awesome.
we were one of those couples who swore
"when we have kids we will still camp!!!"
and judged those who rented cabins.

but then we were camping when Halley was a baby and I was pregnant
(puking in the woods dozens of times a day) with Lucy.
a freak rainstorm flooded our tent.
it was not awesome.
we considered leaving the tent and heading home in the middle of the night.
instead we piled into the car with our wet dog and tried to sleep.
the next year we rented a cabin.

so when my sis in law got the great idea to camp with all
of the cousins this summer I said yes.
then thought...
for reals?
where is my cabin?
my internet?
clean sheets?

who have I become???

sequoia is breathtaking.
we could spend a month there and still not come close to seeing all of it's wonders.

eight kids.
five and under.
can you say NOISY?
here is my public apology to the young child-free couple who camped next to us. I think that their plans for a family have just been extended by a few dozen years.

Jason's sister lives in Turkey during the year and comes to
California each summer for an extended visit.
There is really nothing like cousins. Despite the miles apart, each the girls see each other they pick right back up where they left off. It is so beautiful.

For the first time our girls were out of the stroller and actually hiking on their own.
A minute after this shot we saw a bear.
Right next to us.

Janey was not impressed.

The girls had their first experience fishing.
I filled their tackle boxes with candy.
This mom does not do worms.
Or hooks.

Lulu picked a Star Wars fishing pole.
Big points with her father for that choice.

I suppose it was more casting, less fishing, since we had no bait and there were no fish.
They didn't seem to mind.

The water was snow run off.
I couldn't even get my feet wet it was so cold.
My happy-every-single-second-of-the-day child loved it.

I wish I lived in a meadow like this.
In my opinion Queen Anne's lace is the most beautiful weed.
I would welcome it in my backyard.

Is this the cutest bear bait you have ever seen?
Don't mock the St. Pat's pj's.
We are Irish the other 364 days of the year too.

This night owl went to bed at eight each night with the girls.
Look at the view from my sleeping bag.
No phone.
No tv.
No internet.
Just us under the stars marveling at God's amazing creation.

Maybe we will just sell our house and live in a tent forever.
It sure was an amazing week.

I can honestly say that I am a camper again.
As long as the rain stays away.


  1. I always made fun of Princess Campers. Swore we'd never join the dark side. Even tent camped with our five week old son...which actually was fun and fine. Now that I have 6 week old twin girls and said son is 2...yeah, the deposit is down on the rental RV! Ha! Never say never!

  2. Again, LOOK at that chubby baby!!! I want to squish her.

    My kids were all scrawny babies so I never got to have one with cheeks and thighs like that. LOVE it!!!

  3. We too have returned to our "camping" roots since moving out to Reno from NC via TX. We did the tent thing for awhile but as a tent camper growing up trying to explain to my non camping childhood husband...too many ugly moments...He found a great pop up CHEAP off craigslist.com so we have been heading out every weekend. Sequoia is next on our list! It is great to just disconnect from everything for a couple of days! Looks like you all had fun....even the bear bait survived ;)

  4. My husband and I also boast that we will still be genuine campers after we have kids - while all our friends who actually have children laugh at us. You've given me hope that it isn't just wishful thinking. thanx girl.

  5. Gosh I commend you because I am SO not a camping kind of girl...at all. My idea of roughing it was earlier this summer when we pitched the tent in our backyard!! That is about as adventurous as I get!! I am so glad you had fun though and created some amazing memories for your adorable family!!

  6. I could nibble on that sweet baby and those chunky thighs!! Love her, she is so sweet...you really make beautiful babies. :)

  7. What great pictures!! I am *so* not a camper, but my family would go camping with your family anytime!!

  8. We camped in a tent with a 3 month old and 15 month old - it rained the whole week - we now have a camper and are much happier... I know I'm such a camp snob aren't I?
    LOL!!! We too camp with family and I love the memories we are creating for our kids - love it!!!

  9. You are BRAVE!! Especially with a baby. Did you take a packnplay? However did you manage?

    Our baby girls have the same awesome hairline! :)

  10. Looks like you had a great time!! we are campers here but since having kids we camp in a huge tent with 2 air mattresses. easier to nurse on an air mattress than on the ground. Thats my excuse and Im sticking to it ;) Great pics!

  11. I am not an outdoor girl at all. I don't think I could even sleep in an RV!

    Great pictures!

  12. you know when I was a kid we camped so much to. I remember long summers, camping for 3 months straight. Only to go back for supplies. When we drove from illinois we camped a whole summer in Washington. WE were there so long they made us Camp host!

    I think though times have changed quite a bit, it's not our fault for wanting convienance and comfort for out families. I think on a perfect day camping is wonderful. But puking and rain calls for a cabin ... definatley

    Great pictures!!!

  13. the baby in the water with those little fat legs and huge smile is just adorable..:) that photo is priceless.;)

  14. your kids are SO cute...can't get over their eyes :) xo

  15. We took 5 kids tent camping this summer, including a 2 month old baby! And everybody had a blast. We never stopped camping for our babies either. We're considering getting a pop up though, just for the sake of storage (we had to SQUISH 7 people into 2 vehicles, and slept in 2 tents...) So April, you CAN do it if you are determined. And you probably REALLY have to love camping, as we do. The truth is, I REALLY want to teach my kids to love tent camping, and not to be spoiled by the luxury of the RV.

  16. WOW! I am not a camper, but looks like you all had a great time! What an adorable bunch of kids!!! And Janey, oh...I just want to eat her up!

  17. Oh yes - that looks fun! We love to camp, but two nights is about as long as I can go.

  18. Great pictures! Looks like fun...

  19. I have almost the exact same picture somwhere on my blog, taken from the tent, looking up into the trees. It's one of my favourite parts about camping....sleeping without the fly on. Ahhh. Beautiful isn't it? Glad you got back into it. I'm sure camping has good years and bad years, especially when you have kids. Glad you had a good year.

  20. so glad you you had fun! i get the heeby geebys everytime my kids even mention the word camping:


    Looks like you had a beautiful place to stay! Cheers~

  21. What fun you had! Looks like a great time, kiddos and all! Right now we're one of those kid-free young couples... and we went camping last weekend... and were annoyed by a few kids ;-) No worries... our time will come too.

  22. Awesome pictures! I am not an outdoorsy girl either, really. I get bit by every one of God's Venomous Creations and Bugs.

    But, I could be a beach bum and sleep on the beach for a week. :) Yes Yes YES.

  23. That looked like a very fun camping trip. We just experienced our firt "take the kids camping" trip. There were definatly some tuff spots along the way (like one kid ended up puking all night), but we definatly said we want to do it again too! There really is something beautiful about being out in nature.

  24. The picture of Janey in the water is ADORABLE! It sounds like such a great trip.

  25. I agree, camping is great but I grew up on houseboat "camping". Each summber we would go to Lake Cumberland in Kentucky to my Grandma's house boat. It was great memmories and we would love to take our future kids on trips like that. The pictures you posted are beautiful! What cute kiddos!!!