A Camping We Did Go...

We had our birthday camping weekend at Peaks-Kenny State Park last weekend.
And per our tradition, the rains came down and the flies swarmed 'round.

It was lovely.
No, really.  It was.  Most of it.
Our view of the lake the first night there.  We had the place to ourselves.
We have grown to expect these sorts of things, and each year we become a little more fine-tuned in our knowledge of what to expect, so - at least in my boys' minds - even though the forecast predicted rain two out of the three days that we would be there, nary a soul even entertained any thoughts of rescheduling.
Our old bitty jumped in the driver's seat, but we told her she was too old for such a trip.
 One thing we have not become fine-tuned in, is our packing.  Holy Hannah -we don't know how to pack lightly for a camping trip.  I think that we literally brought everything but the kitchen sink....
There are 4 children hidden in this van.
"It's tradition!"  said they with great enthusiasm.  "It always rains when we go camping!"
"For crying out loud!" said I with great irritation.  "Can't it just NOT rain for one. freakin'. year?!!?!?!"

Confession is good for the soul, so I confess that I was less than excited going into this birthday expedition.
Grumpy, might even be a better term to use.
For one thing, London is not walking yet - and she's super busy, so how in the whole wide world was I going to keep her dry?  And remotely clean even?!
 "We'll just roll with it." said Kevy.
So roll with it, we did.

I packed an umbrella stroller, an exersaucer, a swing that we rigged up to a couple of trees, and a backpack - and we basically just rotated between those four things and our tent....

But, long about middle of day two, I just called uncle and let her down.  There is at least one area in her life so far where this child is no girly-girl.  She does not give one flying flip about being dirty.  So, we just let her have at it.
We also gave the Hoolie boys their very own tent this year, and a fabulous idea indeed it was!  They stayed up later, were far stinkier and messier, and they could trash their place with glee - while my tent stayed cleaner, drier, smelling nicer, and it remained much quieter for London and her naps.  Their tent was also lit up with an eerie hue each night by the kajillion glow sticks that they had cracked...along with a June bug or 4 which they had been collecting by flashlight.  No thank you....

All parties involved were quite happy with our arrangement this year...

One of the perks about knowingly camping on a not-so-summery weekend is that you pretty much have the entire campground to yourself.  Most normal people reschedule their trips, because most normal people like to tent in sunshine as opposed to sogginess.  But you know....  whateve.

Another perk about the location where we like to go camping is that there are real toilets.  And showers.  It's really kind of like "gourmet camping."  I like gourmet camping with babies.  It's easier.
 I also like this location because one of my dearest friends lives like 5 minutes down the road with all of my future sons and daughters-in-law.  And none of them give a flying flip about the rain, either.  That makes them super cool in my book.  And maybe not really all that normal, either....
Traditions:  Peaks-Kenny, rain, friends, and pinatas.
Red-neck pinatas, but pinatas, nonetheless....

And food.  We like food.
Another perk about scuzzy-ish weather, is that we just sit around the camp fire and cook a lot.
It's glorious, really.
Dad's fudge.  My drug of choice.
Dad likes putting the Darrah girls to work making campfire fudge, cowboy bread, and whatever else he can think of.  We all love these girls.  And we love their Mama and Daddy, too.  Did you know that they actually fell in love in my old kitchen at home - washing my Mama's dishes?  It's true.  They can thank me for all of these offspring of theirs...
Here's a  rare moment I captured where they are both standing still and not chasing after one of their hilarious little toddler twin boys.  I love how we have flipped worlds:  me to all things baby girl, and her to all things little boy.  God has a funny sense of humor..

All in all, it was a fabulous weekend.
The kids ran wild and free.
Grampy's and Grammy's came to play.
We ate a ton of fun camp food...
...and bugs.
And coffee.

My brother and wife and their sweet little boys joined us.
The rain was bearable and not torrential.
The boys were loved on and cousins were friends.
And Wee Missy-Miss camper extraordinaire woke up at 4:45 each morning to let me watch the sunrise.
How very thoughtful of her...

My name is London and I enjoy pooping my pants, playing in potty water, waking at zero dark thirty, and looking deliciously cute regardless, so that Mama can't possibly get angry.  I have it down to a science...

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