Showing posts with label camping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label camping. Show all posts

Monday, August 15, 2016

Gratitude and My Craigslist Obsession


Oh how I struggle y'all. Gratitude can be a tough one to hold on to, have you noticed? To pause each and every day and be grateful for every part of your life at that moment, whew, it's harder some days than others.

Case in point, camping, I love me some camping, like lots, like too much. What's not to love? All that adventuring is beyond awesome! Last year, we purchased a little pop-up camper and it's been absolutely amazing and has allowed us to travel and experience life and learning in a whole new way. It's the greatest thing since sliced bread y'all. Seriously. But, and this is a biggie, as we begin to expand our traveling horizons and plan several really large trips, I've started looking, dreaming, dare I say coveting, larger campers. Yes, I really, really want a C Class RV folks and I've become totally, hopelessly, obsessed. They say the first step to recovery is to admit that you have a problem. I stand before you today to admit that I am beyond smitten with motor-homes, there, I've said it out-loud, now let the healing begin.


There's nothing wrong with dreaming, but sometimes the dream can overshadow the here and now and suck the gratitude from THIS day that we've been given. I may or may not spend waaaaaaay too much time on Craigslist, like EVERY day y'all. I'm thinking of starting a 12-step program, as I'm pretty sure there may be others out there that suffer from my RV smitten disorder.

Excuse me for getting a little personal here, but often what we want is not at all what we need. I've kinda learned that the hard way. I desperately want a motor-home, and I hope to have one in the not so distant future, but right now isn't the right time. Financially, we need to save more and we'd have to sell our pop-up before purchasing anything, but the biggest reason, and it's gargantuan, is that until I'm able to master gratitude for all the things God has provided our little family, including our pop-up, anything new would be tainted. Taking on debt would be a really bad move for us and even though every fiber of my being really wants to go out there and get what I want, when I want, I know in my heart it would be all wrong. Purchasing an RV not within God's timing would be a huge no no. That RV would be a shiny red apple on the outside with a nasty bitter taste on the inside. I've had that bitter apple before, I've put the proverbial cart before the horse and let me tell you, it's no way to live. I never want to live that way again.


So today, I'm focusing more on the here and now, and less on the future. I'm committed to an untiring pursuit of daily gratitude.............and, just by chance, if you happen to know of any good deals on a C Class, oh shoot, there I go again, prayers welcomed as I continue to pursue daily gratitude.............

Monday, July 25, 2016

Balance Lost


Balance is a skill that has eluded me most of my adult life. Since before I was a blogger, I've admired many a fellow blogger as she writes of some terrible tragedy in her life, or some life altering illness, and somehow she keeps right on blogging during her recovery process while at the same time juggling homemaking and three little kids. It baffles me how these women manage in what seems like a flawless dance where at the end of each day, they've managed to get it all done. I don't know how they do it. I'm not that woman. My life's not flawless, sometimes it's a bumpy, lumpy mess.

I've been gone for a while from this little blog of mine. I've felt all the emotions that go along with that. Failure, guilt, I've felt lots of those. I found that I wasn't one of those other women, one that keeps on ticking {remember those old Timex commercials??}, nor was I the infamous energizer bunny. Nope, I was a mere mortal, that during tough times, I retreated into myself to heal and could barely get anything done. I've been in survival mode for months and I'm a little ragged looking around the edges. Our home has been in the care of our three littles for what seems like forever. Praise the Lord for children and husbands willing to not only help out in tough times, but literally take my place. I don't know what I'd do without them.

No, I'm not dying, {whew!}, but figuring out what's wrong with me has been a months long battle. In hindsight, I guess I started feeling a little off last December, tired more than usual. It continued throughout the winter and then in March, I had that totally random pinched nerve thing, so crazy. I've not gotten back to my old self since that occurred. I've been completely exhausted for months and it's changed everything. A couple of months ago, more obvious symptoms began to quickly unfold and I was going from doctor to doctor and test to test searching for an answer. Then, a few weeks ago, it became extremely clear what was wrong with me, I was having my first Crohn's flair-up in thirty years.

If any of you have Crohn's disease or know someone that does, you'll know that not ever having a flair-up in thirty years is a miracle in itself. People with Crohn's are sick y'all, like messed up all the time. Believe me, I know how blessed my life has been. No doctors, no meds for thirty years, that's practically unheard of, which is why I've not even considered that I may be feeling ill because of my Crohn's, last thing on my list y'all. I'm still in the testing phase of this current issue trying to pinpoint exactly where my Crohn's has flared this time, and yes, the tests are not pleasant. It requires that I be put to sleep, over and over, and nobody likes that, but we do what we gotta do, right?

I guess that the burden of not knowing what was wrong with me was laying so heavily upon me that I just stopped writing. I wasn't seeing very much beauty or joy around me and I felt that I had absolutely nothing to write about, the words all dried up. I've missed this place so much and y'all, I've missed y'all so much. I'm praying that I'm here to stay, back on this little blog, but if I go missing, please know that I'm healing.

It hasn't been all doom and gloom over here. Since I've let the house go all to _____, {well, I'll let you fill in the blank!} we have done a bit of camping, and we have several more trips planned this year that I can't wait to tell you all about! I'm so excited, squeal! We've been camping in our little pop-up for a whole year now and it's waaaaay past time for me to write a little one year anniversary post. And just in case you're wondering, I'm still totally smitten by camping, totally!

I've missed this little place and y'all so much, hopefully there's still someone out there that waited for me and didn't loose hope. Give me a shout out if you're still here, it would really make my day! Hugs sweet ones and thanks so much for sticking around!



Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Let's Go Camping!


It's been a whole year since we purchased our Little Pop Up Camper . What adventures we have had! We're already planning trips for April and I'm just giddy! Do you and your family camp? I wanted to share with you a little about what I've learned this last year, but first a little sharing about me..........


I'm a girly girl. You know the ones, they don't like to get dirt under their nails, they powder their noses when out and about, they 'hold it' forever rather than go in a porta-potty, yeah, I'm one of those. So, needless to say, I'm not the roughing it type. Having to potty in the woods just isn't my thing.


We tried tent camping when the kids were little- hated it big time. Hearing little animals scurrying around my tent all night just wasn't my cup of tea. Shoot, I was terrified and didn't sleep a wink! Now, I have friends mind you {you two know who you are ;)}, that are camping aficionados! You should see these women camp. I promise you would be in awe of their campsite! Tents, screen rooms, organized totes filled with food and supplies, they literally put women like me to shame! It just wasn't for me or my husband, so we wrote camping off our list. We decided that it just wasn't for us. Huge mistake!



It then took years and years of wasted time for me to consider camping again. I say wasted time because there's just something about our children, that they deserve to be raised out in nature, unplugged from this world we live in, as often as possible. Traveling and hotels is one thing, camping is totally different. Camping brings your family together in a way you'll never experience in a hotel.


It's so much easier to start your kiddos off early with this lifestyle, the camping lifestyle. It's much harder to convince teenagers that camping is awesome. Our girls have been real troopers and I've been so proud of them for their good attitudes. Sometimes they're a bit whiny, but I see the gains of our adventures and it's worth a little discomfort on their parts.


So why all this rambling on? Spring is upon us, and if you've ever wondered if camping might be right for you, YES, yes it is! I don't want you or your children to miss out on the benefits of camping. If someone as girly as me loves it this much, you may just love it too! Don't like sleeping on the ground? We planned and saved for a whole year for our pop up, so worth all the sacrifices.


And the price? Camping is so inexpensive, especially if you tent camp, and you don't have to go far. A state park just down the road or in your own state is a perfect landing. The point is to be out there in nature, unplugged around a campfire, hiking, game playing or just talking, remember that?,  just talking with one another. That's the whole point of the camping experience, connections, re-establishing connections, strengthening connections.

This world that we live in pulls our families apart, camping brings our family back together. So, if you've never tried it, maybe this is your year! Are you already a camping family? Give me a shout out!
xo,
Amy

Sharing Here: In The New House Designs   McCall Manor

Friday, November 13, 2015

Keeping It Real On A Friday

Keeping it real is important. I wish I could say that it's all roses over here, but I'd be totally lying if I did! The real story behind this picture? Like how many shots I had to take hoping for a perfect one, which never happened I might add, or how loud I had to yell for the kids to stop picking on one another, geeeeeesh.



We were originally sitting on a beautiful vintage linen that I'd been saving for this photo.........


Didn't take high tide into consideration and as soon as we all sat down, flood, not to mention overexposed. Then there's the threatening Matthew to look at the camera, smile and freeze, it's like pulling teeth y'all.


Then there's me running back and forth to re-set the timer on the camera as it's teetering on top of a fishing tackle box, on top of a cooler to get it to just the right height {you do that too right?}.....

And the most hidden caveat, I brought a bad attitude on this adventure and I fought it through till the end. Sometimes your baggage follows you on your adventures and I don't mean your luggage. 

Pictures can be really deceiving, huh?

Just keeping it real on a Friday y'all..........



And don't forget, there's still time to enter my little giveaway. Just click HERE, and leave a comment to be entered, easy, peasy. Good luck y'all!


Monday, November 9, 2015

Into The Wild {part two}


As promised, here is part two of our latest camping adventure, and after creeping a few of y'all out with my part one post,  I guarantee you'll like part two lots better! It was an absolutely breathtaking adventure. Since we were camping on south Georgia's coast, a trip to the beautiful Cumberland Island was in order.




It begins with a forty five minute ferry ride that transports you from the Georgia coast over to the island. The island is an undisturbed oasis and boasts maritime forests, marshes and pristine coastline. The best part, wild horses freely roam the island along with some deer, wild boars, armadillos and more birds than I could count. 




It's a pack in-pack out national park which means everything you may need for the day, you carry on your person. We packed as little as possible and each of us had a backpack filled with our necessities for the whole day. The only thing provided on the island are restrooms and drinking water refill stations. 

I'd always wanted to visit this little gem of an island. It was once home to the Carnegie's {a few descendants of the originals still inhabit the island} and it was the destination of John Kennedy Jr.'s wedding. 




Spectacular and exhausting, but one of those good kinds of exhausting. Seeing horses romp and play all over the island was definitely the high point, and we did find some awesome shells on our beach walk.






Well, that's it for our wild camping adventure. Hmmmmmmmm, where shall we go next???????






Friday, November 6, 2015

Into The Wild {part one}


Well, we went on a doozy of a camping adventure this time! It was a little creepy, a lot crawly, and I was a nervous wreck for a large portion of this trip, but oh, it was totally worth all the jitters! 





This little guy spent the whole day with us, sooooo, we named him. Meet Bob y'all.

We had a two part adventure this time and I'll post on part two next week. We traveled south down to the very bottom of Georgia to The Okefenokee Swamp, and yes, we cavorted with the alligators baby, up close and personal. 






Meet Brad, our fishing buddy. You've got to reel them in mighty fast or Brad gets them before you do!

You may notice that there are no fences in these photos, there's nothing between you and those creatures but your bravery {I stood pretty far away, my husband, he worried me silly!}.



 We were not as brave {craaaaaazy} as these folks who kayaked through the swamp.


Sneeky little critters aren't they?

We had some dry land adventures there too. We visited one of the original swamper family's homesteads. No one lives there any longer, go figure???????




Can I have this mirror please???

And look, another alligator. This was our campground y'all. Better believe I used my flashlight when making those late night potty runs!


So yeah, it was quite an adventure! Totally out of my comfort zone, but amazing memories were made. Stay tuned next week for part two, not as creepy, I promise!


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Getting The Most Out Of Family Travel


Today is the day I'm sharing my number one travel tidbit, are you ready? Do you have your pen and paper out to jot down notes {wink}? It's profound y'all, I'm just telling you, profound.  

Drum roll please..... take the  s-l-o-w  route. Yes, that's it. Profound right? Seriously, it is the best travel advice anyone could ever give you and I'm going to tell you why. 

Life is full, like jam-packed, and when you and your husband can finally get some time off work or sync your schedules so that you can take a family trip, time is of the essence and we all just want to get there, you know, arrive at the destination, lickety split, time's a wasting. Am I right? No honey, dead wrong.


{you don't see this on the highway friends}

Now, I only just figured this out after  we bought the camper, so don't go thinking that I'm all wise or anything. I read and researched for our camper so much and I joined so many forums and read so many blogs devoted to all things camping, that I learned a few things, invaluable life lessons.

Those interstates out there were built for speed, to get us where we need to go in a hurry. Interstates are not your friend. They are not your family's friend. They are monotonous and dull and they put kids and grown-ups to sleep, or even worse, into a zombie-like trance. 


{Matthew stays interested the whole journey}

Life is an adventure and a huge part of that is learning to value the journey. The time spent getting  from point A to point B. 

The first time we took our camper out on an adventure, it suddenly became crystal clear what I'd been reading from other camper owners. Towing causes you to s-l-o-w down. You can take this in one of two ways. You can become irritated at this pokey pace, or you can embrace this gift and learn how to find beauty in the slow. 


Now, before our adventure, I check routes to our destination on Mapquest because that usually gives me several choices, I pick the back-roads, and this usually barely changes our arrival time. But what happens inside our car while we're winding through the byways at a slower pace, is where it's all worth the extra moments it's going to take to arrive.



There are no zombies in our car. Our children are learning to travel with their cameras ready because they see so many moments that they'd like to capture. We stop lots and take photos and oooooh and ahhhhhh over pretties. Do we arrive at our destination in record time, nope, but we arrive filled with the gifts of a slow and winding journey tucked deep inside our hearts.

There's my wisdom for the day, take the slow route, take the scenic byways and marvel at the difference it will make in your adventures. Slow grows families y'all

I know, I know, you are so grateful you'd like to hug me. A virtual hug will just have to do. 

{smile}




Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Camping We Will Go


We spent this past weekend camping atop a breathtaking mountain. We enjoyed coffee in the morning and  in the afternoon, what a treat. Mornings were cold and afternoons were cool and breezy.





I cannot tell you how much I'm enjoying camping, I'm positively giddy every time we head out. I'm kicking myself for not realizing the value of camping way sooner. In a world that overloads our senses daily, blurs the importance of relationships, we must make unplugging a priority. 




We have two teen daughters that are not nearly as on board with the whole experience as I'd like, but I know without any doubts, that being unplugged,  and being reminded of the simple joys and pleasures is the best we can give our children. Being surrounded by nature, connecting with family, being aware of the real,  that's what it's all about. I only wish that we would have started camping years ago. 




I looked out the window of the camper Saturday evening, and saw my husband and Matthew huddled around the campfire talking and laughing, and I was overcome with joy and a sense of contentment. That's the beauty of camping, it's filled with so many little moments of restoration. Living in this fallen world takes so much from us, camping refills the soul.






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