My Mixed Bag

April 30, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Posted in Family, Photo Tuesday | 20 Comments
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“Camping:  The art of getting closer to nature while getting farther away from the nearest cold beverage, hot shower and flush toilet.” — Unknown

Camping is a mixed bag for me. Or should I say, a mixed sleeping bag?

I don’t like bugs. Or sweat. Or dirt. Or marshmallows. But my family does. So I go. Twice a year, as per a verbal agreement between my husband and me, I drag myself into the woods, along with three kids, a gigantic dog, an even more gigantic tent, sleeping bags, air mattresses, firewood, s’more fixin’s, peanut butter and jelly fixin’s, water shoes for 5, hiking shoes for 5, stuffed animals for way more than 5, camp dishes and utensils, paper towels, toilet paper, a hefty supply of hand sanitizer, and a thousand other things.

We spend the weekend killing mosquitoes, peeing in bushes, toasting droopy hamburger buns over a campfire that blows smoke in our faces, and getting dirt wedged semi-permanently into our fingernails and toenails. But we also fall asleep to a cricket concert and wake up to an avian serenade. We pick dandelions and track ladybugs. And with sticky, grape-juice-colored fingers, we steer matchbox cars through sand pits and stick tunnels.

So I go. And it’s worth it. Despite the 27 loads of burr-laden laundry that always come home with us.

Does your family camp? Got any favorite ghost stories? And marshmallows — yea or nay?


“X” is for miXed bag … See more Xs at Jenny’s on Thursday.

Jenny Matlock



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  1. We’re starting our family camping days this summer. With a tent trailer and a 3 & 5 year old. We’ll see how it goes.

  2. We don’t camp but I think this sounds delightful…so nice to fall asleep listening to the crickets 🙂

  3. This makes me want to camp, but we haven’t tried it yet!

  4. We do camp…and I love it…but I’m always glad to be home to my hot shower and my own bed. 😉

  5. It’s been a long time since I’ve been camping. Of course, I do try to choose sites with public restrooms. I do want that one convenience, but I can handle all the rest!

    • Flushing toilets are definitely required for my camping experiences, too. Only this time, the park was rebuilding from a terrible wildfire a couple of years ago, and there were only port-a-potties available. Ewwwww!

      On Wed, May 1, 2013 at 9:51 AM, Fluffy Bunnies

  6. Stacia, you make it sound so much fun! It’s not the dirt or the, er, “food” that deters me from camping. It’s the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements. I can’t handle back pain or being grumpy from not sleeping well on even the most so-called “comfortable” pads or air mattresses. Otherwise, what a collection of beautiful images!

    • Yes! I’m still trying to catch up on the lost sleep, and my little one either ate some dirt or licked the port-a-potty or something because he’s had a tummy bug since we got home. Damn you, nature, damn you! 🙂

  7. I camped a lot with my kids when they were younger. Every once in a while I think I might like to take my grandkids camping, but then my back reminds me that I am not 30 anymore…

  8. We used to camp out when my kids were small. It’s work for a mom but definitely worth it. The memories are are priceless.

  9. It’s been some time for me, too – but very happy memories all the same!

    Lovely post!

  10. No to camping. Ghost story? Sure thing — and not just one. And yes to marshmallows. 🙂

  11. Each photo is so endearing and charming ~ Wonderful photography ~ ^_^

  12. darling post! I hate camping, too! but that avian serenade…that is something. love the hand shots — pretty much tells it all.

  13. Totally hilarious post! (as was the pee post which I also read…) Yea on marshmallows! We camped when the kids were young — mostly with their Indian Guides and Indian Princess groups — but some on our trips to Colorado — fun times! Except when it rained….

  14. We tend it stay in cabins when we camp.

  15. We grew up camping in the Adirondecks, but we haven’t gone as a family with my own kids.

  16. You’re a good sport! I’m sure the kiddos will have fond memories!

  17. My childhood family camped at the Oregon coast occasionally when I was growing up. It wasn’t very dedicated camping, but it was still an enjoyable time of connection and adventures.

    My own family has not yet gone camping once, but we’ve begun talking about it recently. I’d love my son to have his own adventures (relatively) off the grid.

    I’d also love to have pictures like these to document the experiences. 🙂

  18. I love the dirty hands and blackberries! That picture brought back so many memories!

    My husband says his idea of ‘camping’ is to stay at a Holiday Inn instead of something plusher.

    I say, ‘hey, wherever there’s room service I’ll be willing to pitch my tent!’

    This was an xcellent link for the letter X.

    Thank you for linking.


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