Everyone should go tent camping.


Unless you have children under four or you are pregnant or live in north Canada or have an aversion to bugs or can’t sleep to the sound of crickets or are addicted to your Sleep Number bed or don’t like peeing in bath houses while large spiders watch you or can’t handle your kids waking up at sunrise.

As I said, EVERYONE should go tent camping.

It really is a lovely experience, and an investment in getting to know nature.


But more about that in the next post.

Our camping trip consisted of myself, my two children, my sister-in-law, her three children, and my parents.

(Don’t ever go camping without grandparents.)

Chris was in Dallas at the season opener football game, and my brother had to work, so the lack of Daddies just made it all the more adventurous.


The five cousins in attendance were:

Ali, 8:


Eli, 7:


Tessa, 6:


Noah, 4:MG_2068.jpg

And Andi, 4:MG_1895.jpg

Clearly, one of the benefits of the trip for me was getting to play with my new camera.MG_2045.jpg

It was even better to have kids around that weren’t my own, because mine might be a little tired of posing for photographs.


But other people’s kids! They’re like fresh meat for my photographical needs!MG_2034.jpg

…Until you try to get them all in a group shot. Because that will never ever ever be successful.


But this is about camping, not photography.

The trip was full of playing in hammocks,


Sword fights,


Glow sticks day and night,MG_2030.jpg



Feeding, chasing, and yelling at the ducks,MG_2074.jpg

Tents accidentally and ridiculously too big,



Pedal Boating,


Perfect reflections,


And a long hike.

The five mile hike, only for myself and the two oldest kids, included nature counts and a very intricate points system that kept changing in an endless string of excited conversation.

Butterflies are worth one point. Butterflies are worth two points. Frogs are worth two points. Frogs are worth 300 points! I see three frogs so that’s 5,000 points! If you see an Alligator it’s worth 500 points but only if he doesn’t eat you. If he eats you then you get zero points. Because you’re dead.

But points aside, we did find 22 frogs.

At least 10 of which Eli picked up,


And exactly three of which peed on him – including this shirt-soaking gusher.


I apologized for the frog’s bad manners, but he told me “Oh it’s okay. I get peed on by frogs all the time.”

Our hike led us to the dam,


Where Ali placed her own form of rebellious graffiti – she wrote her name on a large leaf and left it behind, with the explanation “I’ll be famous now! Because people will see this and know my name!”


So that’s how you get famous, people. In case you were wondering.

And then there was the sunset. THE sunset. One of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.


The reflections were perfect, and the ducks were amenable to make beautiful synchronized swimming patterns.


The skies morphed so many times over that 43 minutes that I could only capture all of its beauty by making a video. If you’ve never quite understood my obsession with sunsets, this should explain it.

So clearly, it was a beautiful trip. And everyone should go camping. EVERYONE.


Be sure and remember I said that when you read tomorrow’s post. Because we’ll both need the reminder.

10 thoughts on “Epic Camping: The Ups.

  1. Lovely photos! I love camping. Did you guys get rained on very much? I went camping the past 3 weekends, and it poured on us all three weekends!

  2. Very well said! My first experience turned out to be great! Now I have the fever and want to go all the time:) I love to see your photographs daily of the beautiful sunsets and precious children. Glad I got to meet you! Maybe I’ll see you at another campsite one day ;)

  3. Wow you got some gorgeous pictures! Both of scenery and of children! Tessa has AMAZING hair! Love it! I am very intrigued to read about your “downs” though. Haha :)

  4. Beautiful photos! You did great work with the new camera! Making me want to go camping with all these cute shots of the kids. Can’t wait for the next post so you can talk me back out of it! I’m so not a camper.

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