Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Brighton Beach

Several weeks ago at church, a nice fellow gave a talk on the Atonement.  I think that was his topic anyway.  Trying to keep all the kids reverent and happy at church, I probably only hear a fraction of what's actually spoken in sacrament meeting.  Anyhoo, the part of this gentleman's talk that hit me like a ton of bricks was his comment "Do we not take family trips because we can't afford the perfect vacation?"  I went home with that running through my mind for several days, knowing that we didn't have much money for a fancy trip, but also realizing we needed a little trip together to help us establish family traditions, and to strengthen our relationships.  Alas, I booked us a camping site for a couple nights.  Camping at six months pregnant was not exactly high on my list of summer activities, but I have very fond memories of camping with my mom and siblings as a kid and I figured my kids deserve the experience too.  I got a bunch of camping recommendations on facebook, and several people we've known have raved about New Brighton beach, but reservations are quite hard to come by so I didn't hold my breath as I did an online search.  God must have known we needed to go camping too because there was only one campsite available for the entire rest of the summer, the exact two nights we needed.  Fate.  So we spent a week prepping for the trip, two nights camping, and a week recovering, but it was just what we needed, and we had a fantastic time together enjoying the beauty around us and each other's company.  I sure love my family.  I loved quietly observing the kids building sand castles, playing in the waves, and exploring the world around them.  It was nice to just "be still" for a couple days, drinking in the quiet innocence and exploration in my children.

All packed up, jam packed that is!

Ben's mom and dad came up to hang out with us a bit.  They were a huge help!  Mutti and Meilani set up the beds in the tent.

And Abba and Liam got a fire started.

We enjoyed smores...

And had a little "kum-bye-ya" time.  The second night, Meilani and Eli were cracking up at Ben and I singing "There's a Hole in the Bucket."  The little ones fell asleep even before the first song was done, they were so pooped!

This little rascal caused quite a stir in our campground.  Even while we were still up around the fire he tried to get into the trash and didn't care that we were less than three feet away.  Around midnight, Ben found he and a friend sticking their little paws up a hole in the food cabinet, grabbing fist fulls of bread and stuffing their faces.  We had to keep everything in the car after that.

 We all enjoyed the sand and surf all day on Friday.  Our campsite had a little trail down to the beach.  The kids thought it was great fun to walk down to the beach, that is, until we had to lug all our stuff back up to the campsite in the evening.  Everyone, Ben included, was requesting we just go get the car, but I insisted we continue to walk on.  I told Eli to think about the pioneers and stop whining.  I brought up the rear carrying my normal pregnancy load, Seth, a bucket of shells and rocks, and a folding chair.  Ben came to relieve most of my load after he had made it back to the campground and said I was like a Nephite woman, only I don't think he meant it as a compliment!  I'm sure the mother's of the stripling warriors had a bit of stubbornness.  I think we all felt strong and proud of ourselves for persisting in our walk back to camp.  In a world full of entitlement and shortcuts, it's good to be reminded that we can do hard things.


Liam, a little upset that the waves got him all sandy.

 There were remains of someone else's sand fort near us.  Seth especially loved playing in it.

 I took a walk along the beach with Pam and Norm, admiring the interesting beach houses along the way.

I was day dreaming about staying here instead of camping...

or here...Okay, I'd settle for a mere tour!

Sand crabs


Sand, oh my!

Everyone had a turn on the boogie board, with a little help from Dad.

Dad is a pro!  He caught every wave and made it look so easy.


Sariah made a sculpture out of driftwood all by herself!  It's a representation of our family, Dad, Mom, Meilani (notice she's almost as tall as me!), Eli, Sariah, Liam, and Seth.  She spent a long time working on her "piece" and was so proud of it.  I loved watching her make it, love the artwork, love that girl, love the picture.

Smores take two.

Had to go black and white with this one.  I got sunburned pretty badly the day before.  The price for beachy fun in the sun.

Two nights of camping was just perfect.  I left wanting more time at the beach, but happy to return to my bed.  Yay for family togetherness. It was a great trip.


Katie said... fun! I'm hoping we can go on a family camping trip later this summer/early fall...we've never gone on a family camping trip before! So sad...I'm hoping to start a good family tradition of camping too. Glad you guys had so much fun!

Amy said...

You are for su a trooper to go camping at 6 mos, but the pictures look like it was all well worth it! WE have been taking a lot of mini vacations to areas nearby and it has been so fun. It really does wonderful things for the family.
Your trip looks wonderful! (I also like how you said it took you a week to recover:) isn't that how it always goes:))

Teonei said...

You have some beautiful pictures of your children here! I'm glad you had so much fun working hard.

John and Stef said...

What a great post! You are Super-Mom, hands down. I especially love the part when you told the kids to remember the pioneers and stop complaining. Who hasn't used that line at least a dozen times?! So funny!

Amanda said...

So fun! The beach really is a great place to go with the family. Kids can spend hours playing in that sand and mom and dad can just watch. Glad you had fun!

Beth's Blue Blog said...

I loved Sariah's driftwood sculpture! You have a great family!