Way back in the beginning of October...

October 2011 has been about nine bajillion times better than October 2010 was.  October 2010 had its highlights, of course, including the annual Destin trip, Abby's 4th birthday, a trip to the pumpkin patch, and some hard, productive work on the backyard playground.  But this year, I haven't had the looming dark shadow that was The PE Exam.  I haven't had to get up early before work to study.  I haven't freaked myself out daily over the prospect of failing and having to do all of the early morning studying over again.  I haven't subsisted solely on caffeine.

Life has been different this year.  In a good way.  But also just in a different way.

This October started out the same as last in one respect - Abby's birthday.

We surprised the kids with a backyard camp-out for Abby's party...complete with a campfire, roasted hot dogs & marshmallows, and a tent.  The ulterior motive?  It satisfied #81 on The List - Sleep Outside.

The evening can best be summed up with the two Facebook status updates I posted that night and the following morning.  (Because, apparently, I am the type to give real-time, inconsequential updates to everyone I'm friends with...)
If you think backyard camping is only for boys, you are sorely mistaken. Tenting with the two big'uns in celebration of Abby's 5th birthday, after a belly full of hot dogs and marshmallows. It's been dubbed "The Best Birthday Ever" by our fairy-winged, footie-pajama'd princess.

Surprisingly not a zombie this morning. The kids were so tired they *asked* to go to sleep after only 10 mins in the tent. Thank the Lord for small blessings - like a refreshing night of tent sleep, warm blankets on a record setting low temperature evening, and a breakfast of chocolate glazed Krispy Kreme donuts. That. was. awesome.
If you can believe it (and I'm sure you can, considering the source), I completely forgot to take a picture of the tent, the children in the tent, or the amount of blankets/pillows/comfort items we took out into the tent.  Let me just say, it was cold - for Georgia.  We set a record low that night around here, getting down to 32 degrees.  Luckily, we were about 10 steps from our house.  If someone had been watching me set up the sleeping bags and what not, they might have thought I was planning to pull of some sort of Princess and the Pea dramatization, but this pregnant mom was going for comfort.  Thanks to several fleece blankets, one of those egg-carton mattress toppers, three sleeping bags, fleece footie pajamas, and a queen-sized down comforter, Ben, Abby, and I stayed toasty warm in the little tent clear through the morning.

Since there are no pictures of that, here are some of the pre-sleeping festivities.

The family looking very unimpressed by Sam's awesome backyard campfire.

Entranced, I guess.

Abby even opened her presents out by the fire.  These were her new beach toys for...

...the upcoming beach trip that Sam informed her about in this picture.  (And that I already blogged about here.)

Ben's late-night photography skills.

You can just imagine the rest of the story.  Abby is the one sawing logs.  Ben is the one laying perfectly still with a Harry Potter book under his pillow.  And I'm the one having crazy pregnancy dreams about dementors because I'm not as mentally stable as my eight-year-old son. 

#81 - Sleep Outside...you have been checked.


Denise said...

Sounds like an exciting adventure to me. You two are such great parents. Did Sam stay in the tent or did he and Sarah sleep inside? BTW, who doesn't like roasted hot dogs and marshmallows? Great food choices. So happy you could check something else off the old list.

Jennie said...

I should have mentioned that! We camped on Sunday night (leading into Fall Break). Since Sam had to be up for work on Monday morning, he [very happily] volunteered to stay inside with Sarah. :)

Sharon said...

I'm a little late to the party - but Happy Birthday, dear ABBY!!

As you know, I just LOVE camping - and I personally think there's nothing better than sleeping in a tent. So...it did my heart good to see your little campers enjoying the great outdoors.

Hey, no one said that camping has to be done in a REMOTE location!!


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