Camping 2012 | The Photos

Our second year of camping with my brother and his family and a big group of friends happened last week.

My brother John. We are 18 months apart in age. Love him.

My sister-in-law Liz. Love her.

We camp at a spot near Shelton, Washington on land my brother's company owns.

This year I really loved the fires.

Last year I ended up going to bed earlier most nights when the kids went to bed.

This year I put them to bed and headed back out to hang out with the grown-ups.

I also love that time where we transition from day to evening clothes - from swimsuits and shorts to jeans and socks and fleece jackets and hats as the temperature drops.

My cousin Rob and my brother are quite the fire-builders.

Such a beautiful spot.

Anna loved, loved, loved being there with all the other kids. From cousins to friends she was in the thick of it the entire time.

They explored and made up games and talked and talked and talked and occasionally got mad at each other and tattled.

They also ate a ton of snacks.

Love them.

This guy came dressed as Finn from Adventure Time (complete with white hat and green backpack).

Upon arrival Liz showed him that she had a copy of Swiss Family Robinson (book) and he dove right in. He might not look happy there but that was more to do with the came then reading. He's seen the movie and loved it which usually makes him that much more interested in the book.

Simon likes camping. But he also likes being at home. There's always a push and pull with him between being in a familiar routine/environment and finding/introducing new things that make him happy.

There were moments of great joy and great frustration all in the same day. I think those emotions are confusing to him too sometimes.

Great joy when he caught a fish.

Great frustration when he only caught three and didn't catch any more after that. Enough frustration that he didn't want to pick up his pole again.

He took a couple great afternoon naps on an air mattress in the shade.

And played out in the water with the other kids.

Great joy there too.

He even did a craft where he decorated a mug. Hey cool guy.

One of my best friends from high school, Dana, brought her daughter out for the day. She and Liz have become good friends.

This guy made a couple of appearances into the wee hours of the morning too.

My cousin Rob and his son Aidan - modern camping of course.

And of course there was a little of this too.

Good times. Great people. Can't wait to go again next year!

PS | In case you are wondering we left our dog Lily at home with Chris this year. Last year she got really sick while we were camping, almost didn't make it, and made an amazing recovery and has been doing fine (as fine as she can at age 12) ever since.

43 thoughts

  1. Donna

    2012-08-13 11:59:50 -0400

    Looks like you all had a great time. We love camping,'s such a great family thing to do. I enjoyed looking at all your pictures!

  2. Paula

    2012-08-13 11:59:52 -0400

    So glad you had such a wonderful week...and I can very much relate to the ups, downs, joys and frustrations with my child who also wants the life experiences but prefers to be are a wonderful mom :)

  3. slmnontec

    2012-08-13 12:18:52 -0400

    Conjures up lots of happy memories of our camping trips.
    Time goes by so fast. Those days are over for us already...

  4. Kim Borcoman

    2012-08-13 12:37:07 -0400

    your kids will treasure these trips. you are an amazing mom, Ali!

  5. Jesa

    2012-08-13 13:02:06 -0400

    Enjoyed both your pictures and notes. What a lovely time camping, there is no doubt you enjoyed it!

  6. Debbie Piercey

    2012-08-13 13:31:25 -0400

    Looks like an amazing time! Loved your photos! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Leanne in CA

    2012-08-13 13:34:08 -0400

    Great post Ali! Looks like so much fun and relaxation. Nice to see so many smiles. Have a great week!!

  8. Desiree

    2012-08-13 14:49:29 -0400

    awww love the pictures. You should have stopped and visited! I live in Tumwater, WA. You drove right past me. :) Looks like you and the kids had a great time. So good to see fun pictures like this. We are heading out to Disneyland in a couple weeks.. ROAD TRIP here we come! :)

  9. ARC

    2012-08-13 15:33:38 -0400

    Nice! Our daughter has no 1st cousins which bums me out sometimes, but I'm thinking I should try to organize some kind of weekend trip with close friends who have kids the same age.

    Looks like the weather was good too!

  10. Kim

    2012-08-13 15:45:25 -0400

    Love the photo of you with your brother! Even though I have never met any of you in person, I can see the resemblance that your brother has to your dad and that you have to your mom.

  11. Cindy

    2012-08-13 16:22:25 -0400

    What wonderful memories (and photos) you have. Don't you just love it when family all get together...........and along! I miss those days.

  12. Megan Smith

    2012-08-13 16:46:49 -0400

    Wonderful photos Ali! It looks like you all had a great time!

  13. Kimberlee

    2012-08-13 17:15:59 -0400

    What fun! Great pictures and stories. Love seeing it all.

  14. Jill

    2012-08-13 18:54:22 -0400

    Awesome pictures. so good to see your family and friends getting together and having great times at camping. it makes me wanna go camping with my dog and meeting friends or family but my family don't go camping, oh well!!

  15. Jenni Hufford

    2012-08-13 21:27:55 -0400

    i am so glad you had a great week!!! and i wanted to say how much I appreciate that you blog and share with us the moments of great joy AND great frustration in your life. Thanks for being real and transparent. xoxoxo

  16. Nita

    2012-08-13 21:53:05 -0400

    This sounds and looks like so much fun! And can I add that I am insanely jealous at the thought of changing into fleece and socks and sitting by a fire? Really jealous.

  17. Marianne

    2012-08-14 00:04:19 -0400

    What wonderful memories for you! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Rae Bangs

    2012-08-14 00:29:42 -0400

    Cool! My parents live in Shelton and I am there every week. However I haven't seen an area this beautiful in my weekly visits. They live near the high school.
    I am glad your family had fun. Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos.

  19. Kimmie

    2012-08-14 16:28:10 -0400

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos and words of your camping adventure! Everyone looks like they had so much fun! :)

  20. Debbi G.

    2012-08-14 18:12:35 -0400

    Great momories! Gotta love those summer sun-kissed faces!!

  21. Lori B.

    2012-08-15 15:18:34 -0400

    Is the guy who made appearances into the wee hours the new spark in your life? Looks like a wonderful time was had by everyone! Love the pictures of Simon and Anna- they are both just beautiful!

  22. Heidi Hasz-Heideveld

    2012-08-16 02:40:36 -0400

    Hi Ali,

    Looks like a great camping trip! Bummer we weren't there with the Saab convertible for a little 4-wheel driving :-)

    Think of you often, so thought I'd post a msg on your blog.


  23. Erica Hettwer

    2012-08-16 03:57:45 -0400

    Love your hat!!!

  24. Debie Grace

    2012-08-16 21:45:13 -0400

    Family outing such as this is so exciting! I love the photos esp with the kids :)

  25. Jo Boland

    2012-08-30 18:40:09 -0400

    I embraced camping this year with my family. My husband had been super keen for a while but in truth I was a little nervous about whole experience. I decided to give in and give 'it' a go. I must admit I loved parts of it and we've been away three times since buying all the kit back in June. Cooking pancakes on the stove and having camp fires have definitely been highlights. That and body boarding, which has been a new thing for us all, now that was fun. I'm even kind of sorry to pack everything away until next year. Here's to embracing new things.

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