100+ Photos? Get ready.
This post has taken me FOREVER to get ready so I am so sorry. If you didn’t watch the video yesterday – go do that. It’s like the southern fusion appetizer to this half slab of a steak coming at you.
Things you should know – we went camping at a yurt (which is basically like a cabin with tarp walls) in Sweetwater Creek State Park. There is a few places in Georgia that have yurts and apparently they book up really fast for reservations during the sufferable months (ya know – the ones where you aren’t going to die from heat). We booked ours in February and did it in April and half the weekends were already taken so consider that if you are looking to do it. Our particular yurt was really nice – it had a fan at the top of the ceiling, a heater (which we actually did use night one) and all the furniture that we needed to sleep and eat.
The inside had a full bunk, a bar top table, a futon that laid down and we brought two pack n plays for our little ones. It also had keypad locks on the doors so everything was safe inside when we were gone.
We did have to bring our own bedding – so each bed got a flat sheet and each person got a pillow and a blanket. Nothing too fancy because we just honestly didn’t have the room to bring more!
The yurt also had a deck overlooking the lake and had adirondack chairs for mommy & daddy (at least that is what we told the kids – ha!).
When we got there – the first thing we did was go visit the playground and check out the facilities. The bathroom was a little hike away and it was shared by all the yurts but thankfully we didn’t need to do the whole ‘bathroom’ thing too often. I have the bladder of a champion (TMI? probably.) and the boys are well, boys and peeing off decks is their version of awesome.
Along with bedding and clothes, we planned for all our meals ahead of time and we picked up a STOK grill – it’s tiny and adorable and perfect for camping. I have this thing where I like our meat, well, cooked…and this was a lot more controllable than the fire 🙂
High chair hack for all you baby mama’s out there 🙂 It’s annoying to have to sit there the entire time they are eating – but having them off the ground means they aren’t eating gravel!
The kids must have spent a couple hours throwing rocks. It was endless entertainment. Will boasted the best skipping record. He said it was 11x but I think it was closer to 8. Way better than me though….my best was 2 🙂
I tried to sneak veggies into each campfire meal but it was HARD. I think I might get a book about campfire cooking because it was all needing a little more flavor. Any recommendations?
Wrestling. Always wrestling.
The nights were so quiet it was crazy. I expected more crickets and animal noise. I guess we live in the country and surrounded by woods so this with the lake was even quieter. Just a note that surprised me.
Cookin up breakfast 🙂
Eating before getting ready for our full day of activities 🙂
We had a booboo to address as we got out of the car to go hiking 🙂
Will was mad because he wanted to go swimming in the river and I said no. I love his mad face though. It reminds me of when he was a baby 🙂
The boys told me to pose with the flower tree…
I’m framing this one for Jeremy! So natural 🙂
After a mile hike, you can see an old mill that was set on fire during the civil war era. Overall – this park and this area has a very sad and disturbing history. It’s full of wrong-doings and overall…it’s just part of the Georgia history that is embarrassing but true. Don’t get me wrong. I am a proud American and I love where I live. BUT I thought this would be the perfect prompt to address this topic since this past week has been so filled with anger and grief and sadness. I like to wait a week before talking about things. It gives me a little process time. Jeremy said not to talk about it because so many people will nit-pick what I say but I truly believe silence is not the answer…so here goes….
Here is my stance on what is happening in our country. Racism….personal racism and structural racism exists in our country….and it is WRONG. It is ignorance. It is disgusting. It is lack of relationships. It is learned. It is ALWAYS WRONG. I personally can not understand the everyday struggle of a person of color. I don’t know what that feels like to be constantly at risk. My dad’s best friend and business partner is black and he is basically like my uncle (he would take my sister and I to Daddy Daughter functions growing up when my dad was traveling and Jeremy lived with him while we were dating) – he is family to me. The idea of him or his kids suffering through ANYTHING based on his skin color is like a stab in my heart. And that is just ONE small moment in what other people feel everyday. all the time. I can’t fathom that. Imagining that is suffocating. But I have to say this – I don’t know what happened in those videos or what police officers are seeing or trained to do – I am not the judge and I am not the jury. I don’t have all the evidence. I don’t understand the situation because I don’t have all the info…none of us do.
The info we do have is this – hatred, racism and any form of prejudice should not have a place in our hearts or in our minds or in our government. I know that if those men who were killed were my family….my grown children…my boys or my husband…I would be angry that they were not coming home. I would be heartbroken and upset and livid and fight for change in every little detail. I would be on the front lines demanding answers. I think we as a nation need a solution to combat that brokenness where people believe it’s an us vs them mentality….not just in race but in politics, religion and in every area of life. I truly believe that solution lies in relationships and education and laying down our own feelings of offense and picking up the burden of others. That is what Jeremy and I are choosing to do….we are choosing to lean in and form relationships in our own community where we understand better the struggles of others and where we can educate our boys and teach them to love others as GOD sees them…precious and worthy and beautiful….where we can teach them how to interact, cooperate with and appreciate our police and how we can instill in them the heart for being active change-makers in our nation.
As for the police officers that serve us every day – I am thankful for you. I am grateful to you and your families. I can’t imagine how hard it is for LEO wives and children who hold their breath every time there is a call. We have friends and family that work in law enforcement and the risk of harm and death is EVERY DAY. You make split second decisions and it is not an easy job in the least. Like I said before…I don’t know what that feels like to be constantly at risk. I can’t understand that either. But I know that if those police officers were my family – I would be angry that they were not coming home. I am still grieving that police officers were shot and killed. My heart goes out to those families that were left behind. We as a family are praying protection and peace over all the police and all the protestors and all the folks at home. That the change would happen in our hearts and in our communities and in our homes and that we would take the steps toward unity together for the next generation.
p.s. I’m not going to make this an open forum for criticism – if you want to have a supportive conversation in the comments – let’s do it but no fighting, deal? Also – I might move this section to it’s own post in the future so that the travel journal will be more about this trip and the discussion can be separate since they occurred months apart. Just wanted to warn ya 🙂
My carrier is a Moby Go – I think. It’s for bigger babies and is a soft structured carrier. Not sponsored…just love it 🙂
We had a snack at the river and it was literally the most perfect time. We did a full ‘snake check’ beforehand – always a good idea when in Georgia since we have a lot of wildlife here.
The hike back was a little longer than anticipated – we thought it would be fun to take a different trail but after we both were carrying kids (he had Weston who literally is like carrying a sack of potatoes) and I had the two little ones (Max in the carrier and LJ is like a little monkey that clings on) – we were exhausted. Like not cute, sweat pouring down our faces tired.
Thank goodness that the trail ended and we could get ice cream for us and the kids 🙂 Isn’t it amazing how ice cream is the ultimate cure-all?!
Maxi Knights stink eye 🙂
Everyone should know that Weston was OBSESSED with fishing. He even told us to call him “Fish Man” after this.
He basically lowered the hook into the water and pulled out his first one instantly. It was amazing and hilarious 🙂
Such a proud little moment….
I don’t think he has ever smiled this big in his life….
In the video you may have wondered what we were doing to the kid’s arms….we got these free tattoos from the park office and each one was a ‘badge’ that they had to earn by doing the task. It was fun and free and the boys were SO proud when they got all four badges for camp fires, boating, fishing and hiking 🙂
The last morning was exhausting – good thing we had coffee 🙂
Poor little LJ got sick with a little 24 hour bug that put him in a cranky clingy mood. We were headed out that day anyway and thankfully we all got it and got OVER it quickly. We still haven’t caught up on laundry though….it seems like we are still always two loads behind! ha!
The family photo….
and just look at Weston here….so funny….
We packed everything up and got in the car and….whomp whomp….it didn’t start. Apparently the kids had messed with the lights and drained the battery! So while we waited for a boost from the park ranger, we did another round of fishing…
In the end, it was an amazing weekend and we can’t wait to do it with grandparents next time….so tell me – what is your favorite camping memory? I think mine was seeing the kids faces as I told them stories in the fire light. It was so cute and magical and they didn’t know we were gonna kiss and tickle them and it was just PERFECT. Also – we were like championship s’more makers that weekend….like they would have won talent competitions they were so good. What’s yours?