Hi friends! I’m still here. I’ve missed my little blog!
I thought I’d take a few minutes and share a bit about what we’ve been up to.
Each year for the past several years our family (minus Adam...he insists on working and supporting us) has packed up and gone camping for a week of Family Camp. The first year we went I stayed in a tent with my 4 littles. Cole was probably 12 about that time and my right hand guy in his dad’s absence.
That was also the same year I vowed to never stay in a tent with my 4 littles at Family Camp again. ;)
The next year (if memory serves me correctly) I was on a mission to find a pop-up camper. A pop-up feels like a palace after a week of camping in aleaky tent with 4 kids (at least one in diapers), and an even leakier air mattress. I’ve heard that vows you make to yourself are the strongest vows ever. ;) That was certainly the case with me. I was on a mission to find a pop- up camper and move up in the world of camping society.
So I did what any sensible person would do. I asked my friends on social media if they knew where I could rent a pop-up for a week.
Does Facebook ever disappoint? ;) Sure enough I had a generous friend willing to rent her little camper to me and my tribe for a week.
We were living the dream.
No leaky camper.
No leaky air mattresses AND no leaky diapers.
I thought “I’m in!” This is the way to go. We loved it. It was spacious enough for everyone to sleep comfortably, had an air conditioner that made you wish you had brought a comforter (in July) and during the day the children could bring their friends in to sit at the miniature, adorable, pop-up camper sized table and play games and visit.
Rent the pop-up FOREVER!
Sign me up for next year, friend! I already had set the money aside from my not-so little side gig that’s been blessing our socks off. (That’s a whole different blog….) It was in the books. We were set!
As life would have it, in its usual unpredictable way, it threw me a curveball. My sweet husband came home from work one day and said, “I’ve got great news!”
Now, if you’re married then you already understand this is a phrase that can mean different things to different people “great news”.
This is what he told me. “Dad was going to give his camper to Goodwill BUT he gave it to us instead!”
Let that soak in for a minute.
Hold the phone!
My gears started turning, and they were turning fast. It was two weeks before Family Camp. I just KNEW where this was going.
Adam is a visionary. He has a gift for seeing what things COULD be and I love him for it, usually.
Me, not so much.
I’m more of a I can see things for what they are RIGHT now kinda’ girl. It works. We help balance each other out.
But then he said it.
He said we wouldn’t need the pop-up anymore. He explained that NOW we have our own FREE camper. Save our money. Spend what I was going to spend on the pop-up and put it in our new RV.
Friends, he was genuinely excited. He had ideas flying left and right. He thought I’d be stoked too.
I have a feeling you can tell where this story is going.
I squashed it.
“No can do!”
“We will NOT all fit!”
“Is that thing even reliable?”
Poor Adam. He was genuinely sad, and a little bit mad. He probably couldn’t wait to see my face when he told me about it.
Then another strange thing happened.
It doesn’t happen too often, but it did in this case. He dug his heels in. He wouldn’t hear anymore about the pop-up dream lol. He insisted that we take the RV and make the best of it.
I guess this really leads me to the point of this little camping chronicle.
I had to make a choice. Was I going to kick and scream and refuse to do what he was asking? Was I going to demand my own way (because I still felt like I was right!)? Was I going to make life at home tense and unpleasant because I was getting overruled?
I can tell you what I wanted to do. I wanted to have a hissy fit. I wanted to refuse. I wanted to be nasty (and I kind of was at one point) and demand that he butt out and let me do what I had already planned AND arranged to do.
There was an internal war being waged in my mind. I want what I want just like every other wife (and human being). Being told what to do is also not my favorite. I was struggling to get my attitude in order. I was tempted to be sarcastic and snippy.
Anyone know what I mean?
But then I just took an emotional step back.
What was the whole point of this trip?
I was getting ready to go spend a week listening to teaching and preaching. I am constantly telling my children to consider others more important than themselves. I preach kindness and love on the regular. I needed to take a page out of my own book.
Something flipped inside me.
I wasn't mad anymore. It became almost laughable to me. I could already see us laughing about that RV trip years from now and cherishing those memories.
I just chilled out.
Recalculated my perspective.
Got over myself.
AND started making the best of it.
Let me paint you a little picture with words and you’ll soon see the humor in this too.
This RV is not big enough for our family. That part was (and is) true. Adam engineered a bunk bed hammock system suspended from the ceiling of this thing. Two kids in each hammock, no problem! ;)
The air conditioner does not work when you’re driving it.
The speedometer also does not work.
The little arrow thing that tells you which gear you’re in. Yep, you guessed it. Nada.
It has a small muffler issue, but a lot of heart lol!
- Sidenote: I feel pretty confident it is not proper writing etiquette to say lol. But, this is my blog and since you can’t hear the laughter in my voice. . . I don’t want you to miss the spirit of which it is written.
Back to the RV.
The first night Adam helped us set up and stayed with us. He's a good guy! He and I slept on a queen sized mattress (that they took straight out of Cole’s room). They folded this thing like a taco and crammed it down in the space between where the couch and table go.
Night one: Cole opted out. He took a cot and slept in a friend’s tent. He always was a quick learner.
Cloe and Cilas slept TOGETHER (most of the night) in the top bunk hammock and Carter was on the lower level.
Needless to say, NO ONE slept that first night. Ci ended up in bed with us after he slung his leg over the side of his half of the hammock for the hundredth time. I kept bolting straight up in bed like a spaz because I was sure someone was going to fall out and get concussed. All of my theatrics woke Adam up repeatedly. Good times.
The next night Cloe went and slept in her besties luxurious and spacious camper for the rest of the week. This mama ain’t raisin’ no dummy ;). Carter? He slept like a dream (according to him). He wishes he could sleep in a hammock every night.
A few fun facts:
We got a flat tire on the way there. Luckily we pulled over at a Tire Discounter that had been closed for 30 minutes. Irony.
The local Wal-Mart tire guys (you know how I feel about having to go to Wal-Mart) told me they couldn't even get that size tire anymore due to a safety issue change. Shocking.
My father in law told me he looked at the spare about 15-20 years ago. Oh my goodness! It's too much!
Cole zip tied the window wing open on my side so I could get some air. He’s a good boy.
Cloe refused to be in our setting sail picture due to humiliation. Wait until she’s a mom. She has no idea what’s coming.
Cloe was also worried about not having any curtains on one side of the RV but that turned out to be a non-issue because the RV leaks (just a little according to Adam ;)) so we slept in it covered with a GIANT blue tarp. ALL week. Curtain problem solved.
On the way home the transmission acted like it was hacking to its death, BUT we made it!!!!!
Guys, as I write this I’m dying.
I have no regrets. Well, besides some of those smores. . .
Character was built, and I don’t just mean in my children.
I am still working out the kinks in this wife and mom gig.
I do NOT always get it right. God is so faithful to help me be more gracious and show me when I'm not. Adam is so faithful to put up with me and not just that. He claims I’m great. <3
According to Cole the fact that we made it home in that RV proves without a doubt that miracles do still exist.
What fun are memories like “Remember when we rented that really nice pop-up and pulled it to camp, slept comfortably all week and nothing happened?”
The RV filled in all those boring details for us.
I hope this brings a chuckle to your day because it certainly did mine.
Let’s all agree to just try to relax a little more, love our people a little sweeter and laugh a whole bunch. Someone remind me that I said this in a day or two. ;)
Thanks for sharing life. <3