Friends, I just spent the weekend camping out with Cy and these boys and had one of the most precious weekends of my life!
Y’all, there is NOTHING I love more in this world than my family! And spending time with them is my favorite thing to do.
This past week, the boys were on Fall Break, but we were busy trying to finish their bathroom, and we didn’t have plans to go anywhere or do anything. Plus, the funds were low. :)
But by Thursday, I started getting the itch to take the boys camping. We’ve never been truly camping as a family, you know, sleeping in a tent and all.
I ran the idea by Cy, and by Thursday night, we were at Walmart buying supplies for our trip.
It was one of those Carpe Diem moments. The boys are growing up so quickly, and we need to “seize” this time with them.
To say the boys were excited about this trip was an understatement. They love anything that has to do with outdoors.
So Friday afternoon, we packed up and headed to the Mammoth Cave National Park for a weekend of camping. We are lucky because we live only a couple of hours away from this beautiful park.
It was very interesting trying to pack everything we needed for the trip, but we squeezed in our car like sardines and headed out.
We immediately started setting up our tent.
I was taken back with how old Jonathan looked near Cy. Wow! I can’t believe how much he has changed over the past year!
We got a 10 man tent because I wanted a lot of room inside. I do not like feeling crowded in a space, and this tent was perfect!
Eli and the brothers LOVED it!
Once we got everything unpacked and our campsite set up, we headed out for a walk.
The boys love exploring in the woods. Cy and I do too. :)
The weather was absolutely perfect! In the 60’s, crisp and cool.
Mammoth Cave National Park has a ton of trails to hike, and we took one that headed toward the river.
Walking these trails was heaven on earth to me.
Cy and I kept saying to each other, “It doesn’t get any better than this!”
It started getting dark before we made it to the river, so we headed back to our campsite. We were all so excited to get our campfire started!
We roasted hot dogs and s’mores. Perfection!
The best part was sitting around the fire for a couple of hours just telling stories and talking. I hate to admit it, but I don’t remember the last time we did this without interruptions. We didn’t have cell service where we were at, so we had no devices. It was JUST US. And it was more precious than anything I could ever hope for. It was fun listening to the boys and hearing all of their different personalities.
Those moments will be etched in my heart forever.
As the fire started to wind down, so did we. :) We snuggled in the tent together, and “tried” to sleep. It took a little while for the boys to get use to campground noises.
The next morning, Jonathan and Luke got up before dark and headed out to look for some fire wood to get the fire started. Once they had the fire going, the rest of us got up for breakfast. One the menu, bacon and eggs. Yum!
We were scheduled for a tour of Mammoth Cave at 12:45, so we had some time in the morning to hike down to the river.
Eli wore his back pack all day. When I asked him what was in it, he said, “The first aid kit, water, and my bible.” Sounds like he had everything covered! :)
The trail was absolutely gorgeous! We were amazed at all of the beauty we saw!
We made it down to one of the natural springs. It seriously looked like something out of a movie.
And we saw the biggest birch trees I have ever seen in my life! The bark was peeling off like wallpaper.
It was like a boy’s dream come true.
So grateful for this man. There is none better. :)
Adam (who looks exactly like my dad) said “This is the best trip ever!”
I made the boys stop for a picture. I wanted to capture this moment in time.
Do you see what is on Jonathan’s lap? That’s Troop. I don’t think I have mentioned that we got a new dog on my blog. We have had him a few months. He was a rescue dog and is a terrier mix. He LOVED walking the trails too!
Eli collected leaves during the whole walk. He kept saying, “Oh mom! Look at this one!” And I would ooh and aah.
I know you don’t get to see it on my blog much, but my husband is one of the funniest people I know. He always makes people laugh and is always acting silly. If you have met him in person, you know what I am talking about. :)
Here he is pretending to hold up this rock…
My little buddy…
The boys found a big stick that they wanted to take back to our campsite for our fire.
Eli tried to hang on…
But fell off the end of the line…
He tries so hard to keep up with his brothers. :)
This picture cracks me up. It completely goes against the saying “smoke follows beauty.” Hee.Hee.
After lunch, we went on our tour of Mammoth Cave. It started with a bus ride to the cave entrance.
There were about 80 of us on this tour.
My silly husband thought it would be funny to get a picture with one of the tour guides. Say hi to Ranger Chris.
It’s not easy taking pictures in a dimly lit cave, but I tried to get a few.
Bottom line is…it’s A.MA.ZING. Something you have to see in person to fully appreciate.
The boys thought it was the coolest thing ever. We agreed.
We walked 250 feet down below the earth to view these majestic formations.
We went up and down hundreds of stairs, but it was worth it.
After the cave tour, we headed back to our campsite for some more marshmallows.
The boys and I went to the local showers and cleaned up for dinner. We drove into Bowling Green to watch the UK Football game at Buffalo Wild Wings. That was a ton of fun too. Even though we got beat really bad. We drove home at half time, and it was time for bed when we got back to the campsite.
We snuggled up and slept much more soundly the second night because we were all completely exhausted.
Sunday Morning, we had a little devotional and prayer around the fire, packed up the site, and headed home.
We all agreed that this needs to become a family tradition, and Cy and I said that we will never forget this weekend as long as we live. The boys agreed.
I cannot tell you how my heart was filled to overflowing to be able to spend time with my family in the middle of God’s beautiful creation. It was like medicine to my soul.
I hope we get to do it again real soon!
Have you been camping lately?