27 May 2013

The most important thing you need to know about my absence is...

...it was my birthday somewhere in there.


Fifty is nifty.  (insert cheesy-yet-sincere smile)

Officially 50, taken just after midnight...
it was even scarier with the flash

Once again I've allowed 6 weeks to pass between postings...or has it been seven? Whatever. I've missed you. You've missed me. Now we're reunited, and it feels so good.

Tonight's not the night to share the ins and outs of my absence, just know that it's a challenge to write a semi-fitness blog when you aren't doing squat in the way of fitness activities and that I've been spending a ton of time with my family.

Back to my birthday...

My present to myself was to take my kids camping.

I've only been camping one time since I was eight years old. ONE TIME. My husband is an Eagle Scout, but he was not coming with us. I was undaunted. He had some valid concerns...

Him (super skeptically): Do you even know how to pitch a tent?
Me (incredibly upbeat):  Ummm....nope! But there are probably instructions, right?

*he hesitantly nodded, indicating that, yes, there probably were*

Him (super skeptically):  Do you even know how to build a fire?
Me (incredibly upbeat):  Wood...paper...matches...what's there to know?
Him (totally exasperated):  You can't just light some paper on fire and HOPE that the wood catches, too! You have to BUILD a fire!
Me (incredibly upbeat):  Yes! Yes!...the whole oxygen thing...right...gotcha!

*he rolled his eyes not imperceptibly, totally unconvinced I was capable*

Him (with great certainty):  You're bringing the stove, right?
Me (with equally great certainty...and incredibly upbeat): Nope!
Him (utterly incredulous):  What! Why not!
Me (incredibly upbeat):  Ehhh, I don't want to hassle with the fuel part and if it still works and how to work it since I've never used it...I figured we'll just eat cereal and sandwiches and maybe jam some hot dogs on sticks and roast them in the fire I'm going to "build."
Him (UTTERLY INCREDULOUS): You are KIDDING?!!!  You can't just stick hot dogs into an open flame and expect them to cook! Jeeeeezus! You need coals and embers...it takes skill and know-how...Jesus...
Me (incredibly upbeat...especially now that he had called upon Jesus to help me):  Ehhh, we'll figure it out...it'll be fun!

So yeah...I totally figured it all out. Did the tent thing. Did the fire thing. Totally rocked it. Didn't do the hot dogs the first night...instead picked up the worst pizza ever to contaminate our lovely planet on the way in. Did successfully toast marshmallows to perfection.

We were having a mini heat wave and Miss C insisted on wearing her new swimsuit all day...which included to camping.

Ballerina swimsuit + mismatched shoes = cutest camper ever.
These giant eucalyptus stumps were very cool. There were three of them on our campsite. We were the only campsite that had them. Sounds lucky, right? It wasn't. More on that later.

Sleeping in the tent was uneventful the first night. Thankfully.

We awoke the next day and decided to go for a hike. "Hike" is stretching the truth a little, though. The map showed a one mile loop around the camping area and called it "easy"...which was totally the truth.
The hike started off really well. Everyone was in high spirits!

We saw wild turkeys...which I must note for Jillsmo because I'm her Top Turkey-Sighting Blog.
No lie...about one half of a mile into the hike, the whining started. It was cool, though. I was all about it being fun...no pressure to complete...a DNF was totally fine. We found a place on the map where the trail appeared to come really close to the road about 100 yds from our campsite. We scrambled up the poison oak-infested hillside (the kids screamed about the poison oak the ENTIRE time) and emerged into a loving couple's morning tête-à-tête over their breakfast. Ooops.

Once back at our campsite, it was high noon and the awesome stumps proved to be the Ghosts of Shady Pasts. Yep. We had zero shade and temps were in the 80's. So being the resourceful life forms that we are, we dragged a blanket over to a shady spot in the middle of all the campsites and .... camped out there all day :)

Miss C brought an ungodly amount of tiny, lose-able toys in her little Dora backpack.

Her favorite part of the trip was the PBJ-on-hot-dog-bun sandwiches. Here she has one jammed on her finger.

We hung out in that shade all day...until we couldn't take it anymore...we needed ice cream.

Grossest ice cream ever...bubble gum. X started to cry. She had been so looking forward to yummy, cold ice cream and hers was disgusting. I was not a mean mom. I didn't make her eat it. I didn't tell her "well, suck it up, buttercup." Nope. I said "yeah! Looks totally gross! what kind do you want? Let's just get you something different." Easiest solution ever, right?

We did cook hot dogs in our second stellarly-built fire. And they were perfect. As was the fire. Again. I am like a pro camper...or a natural camper...or just really damn lucky...or something. Or it was my husband having called out to Jesus on my behalf.

Then the kids played cards and read Harry Potter number-I-have-no-idea with flashlights in the tent.

SO FUN!!!!!

...until it was so NOT. Time for bed, right? yeah, I thought so, too.

They slept well.
Last picture of me being 49...important to take that in the camping place bathroom.
It started to rain as we pulled the tent down and packed up our stuff. That just made it more exciting :) It was an easy 40-minute drive home. The campground is not the most wilderness-y...being just 30 minutes from downtown Oakland! The unpacking was pretty easy...probably felt that way because all the sleeping bags and inflatable mattresses are still in my car three weeks later! I should do something about that...

The next day was my actual birthday.

The sun came up.
My little girl and I went to the local rose garden where everything was in full bloom. She ran, of course. I didn't, of course.
We walked down magical paths.
We stopped to smell roses as big as her head.

She created the most wonderful photo opportunities.
All before 10 a.m.

I am truly blessed to have this life.

I am so grateful for everything (yes, everything) these fifty years have brought me.

Here's to the next fifty!

Sending my very best thoughts and wishes out to all of you :)


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