Oh you poor neglected blog. So many posts that should be written, so many photos and stories to share.
We moved out of our home and in with my parents at the end of May, and there are just so many people to hang out with here, so many TVs to watch indulgent shows on, so many kids that do not get to bed at a reasonable hour, that blogging has not been a priority. I know that when we really move next month (as in, to Oregon), I will spend more time on this space. I'll have stuff that I want to share with family that we'll be far from, and I'll have time. Maybe I'll even get to all of the crazy back-logged stuff that I've had on my "to blog" list for months now (wishful thinking). But for now, we'll start here, with a camping trip (one of many) that we went on last month.
We set out up Sixth-Water Canyon to find a good spot (I have a husband that doesn't believe in campgrounds), and as we were driving up the canyon, John suddenly stopped, flung the car into reverse, saying something about a rattlesnake in the road back there and he wanted to check it out.
So he did. And I took pictures.
And then, because we are irresponsible, impulsive, and idiotic, we (John) decided it would be fun to hold the highly poisonous snake (I include myself in this "we" because I did not stop him, in fact, I thought it would be cool). Also, at the time, we weren't thinking about how baby rattlesnakes are more poisonous and dangerous than adult rattlesnakes and we were charmed by his littleness and pretty markings. Stupid, dumb, stupid.
This is where is gets even stupider (I hope George isn't reading this blog, he'd be very disappointed in my language). The poor, violated baby snake started trying to sink his tiny (but deadly) fangs into John's fingers. You can see the first attempts in the photo on the right.
And then this one, which would be so cool if it wasn't so blurry. And I can only say it would be cool because the fangs didn't actually penetrate John's skin. There was a small drop of venom the snake left on the tip of John's finger where he attempted to bite, but that was all.
At this point we decided to put the snake down (also dangerous), and then got back in the car. Only then did we start thinking about how that probably wasn't the best decision, and remembered how baby snakes are potentially more dangerous than adults, and realized how lucky we were that John had not been bitten. Dumb. Seriously dumb.
Happily, we made it unscathed to a spot where we set up camp. I don't know why kids love tents so much, but I think it's pretty universal. I've never met a child who didn't think tents were the most exciting place to play in the world. George and Pearl have spent lots of time in our tent, but the excitement of it being set up right at first still never wears off. I love these photos of them flying from one camping pad to the other because I can still feel how energized and excited they were to be camping.
I love that you can see his silhouetted grin in this one.
John and George then had the idea to make a "beach hut" (not sure why it was called that), so we began to collect lots of tree branches.
George dragging a rather large branch over to where John was building the hut. The light was magical.
John was a little more deliberate about log placement, but G just flung them on there, and it actually worked quite well.
Then there was a beach hut for G & P to play in. Not sure exactly what the point of having a beach hut around is, but it was fun to build :).
We spent a little (tiny) bit of time fishing before dinner. It was sort of hard to do a whole lot because Pearl was so clingy, which is not like her at all. She was holding on to anyone and everyone,
but mostly me. She just wanted me to hold her and hold her.
When I'd try to put her down and walk, she'd latch on to my legs and look up at me pathetically. It was too darling to be annoying.
And she'd make this face if I didn't pick her up quickly enough for her liking.
There were a few good fishing moments. I love being with these three people so much.
Pearl loves, LOVES fishing with her daddy. Here she is begging him to let her look at a "buggie" (a fly for fishing).
She was also clingy, remember? So this is what John's fishing experience looked like.
Not close enough...
Still wanting to be closer...
This is getting better...
Ah, here we go, just exactly the position she was looking for :). John fished like this for several minutes, actually, and it just makes my heart so happy that he is so adoring of his children. He never makes them feel like they are not welcome to be where he is, like they are a burden or nuisance or distraction (even if they are). I love that about him.
She did finally let him put her down, but she maintained a fierce grip of his hand while they walked to a new spot.
And at the new spot Pearlie caught a fish! Okay, John caught it, but Pearl reeled it in and it was HER fish. This was her spotting it in the water.
G had to get in on the action.
Hi little fishy.
This picture is my very favorite one of the trip. I just love the look of joy and pride on her little face looking at her daddy after catching that fish. Oh, she melts me.
We only fished for about 15 minutes, and then walked back along the river to our campsite. It was pretty, and the kids were cute.
Once back at camp we cooked up a fancy dinner (ha, a can of stew), and enjoyed the pretty place we were in.
Um, I'll eat dinner again here in this golden light anytime, thanks :).
After dinner we built a big fire and tried to encourage certain 4 year olds to keep the fire in the fire, if ya know what I mean.
Not very successfully, clearly. Haha, I just love his face :).
I am not a fan of s'mores, but there are people in my family that think it is blasphemous to have a camping trip without them, so we didn't.
I love all of these marshmallow roasting pictures. Quintessential camping.
I especially love George's on-fire mallow in this one.
Even though camping with small kids is hard work and tiring (especially at night-- notice how there are no photos of our fairly sleepless, chilly nights because we're trying to forget that part), it is so worth it when I look back at the memories we are creating for them. I am so grateful that they know how to cast a fishing pole, that they talk about how much they love their blue tent, that they aren't afraid of the bugs. I am so grateful that they are learning to love being outside, with each other, unplugged from other distractions. It is work, but most good things are. Making happy memories is often about creating them deliberately and with a good amount of work and sacrifice, this is a lesson I'm learning about parenthood. I am so grateful to be a parent by John's side. He makes these experiences happy for us, typically while bearing a larger-than-fair portion of the work.
It's a pretty good life.