Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Boys' Night Out

I raised both eyebrows when Doug said he wanted to take the boys camping. In our pre-parent life, camping and backpacking were common activities for us. We love the outdoors, exploring a pristine wilderness, escaping into the high country. But the thought of camping with kids hasn't even crossed my mind.

"You do? You want to take our
boys? Overnight?"

The answer was yes. And Doug was excited about it. Our church's annual "Fathers and Sons" outing was coming up. Imagine a bunch of dads and boys camping somewhere for one night, eating lots of good food, and... well, I don't really know what else they do, since I'm not a father. Or a son.

It was obvious, however, as we talked, that Doug wanted to share this time with his boys, give them their first real camping experience. I was on board. The only glitch I could foresee were the sleeping arrangements. Spence and Gordy are not yet free-range toddlers. They still sleep cooped up in a crib or pack n' play. In fact, they've never slept outside those confines.

"Could be a little wild trying to get them settled down," I said.

Doug nodded. He knew full well what he was getting into, but his mind was set. He was taking the boys and they were going to have a great time. I admired his enthusiasm.

So he packed our two-man dome tent, the lantern, the boys' fuzzy pj's, extra diapers, sleeping bags, a few other necessaries...

and off they went.

This is where they camped. A pretty nice setting, eh? All that grass made for such a fun place to play.


They climbed fences, visited with the horses, and even took a ride. Unfortunately, Doug didn't have a free hand to snap a picture.


The men from our neighborhood were a wonderful help to Doug. So aware and ready to assist. They stayed with the boys while Doug got plates of food, cut hot dogs, and set up the tent.

After playing ball and eating (what sounded like) the perfect dinner, it was time to quiet down. Doug took this video around 10:30 PM.

I have to laugh at their bedtime conversation. Both boys (especially Gordon) have an infatuation with mowing the lawn. They love to follow Doug - pushing their mowers along the newly cut trail, bringing up the all-important rear. Mowing (as you will see), is always on their minds.

Watching them yakking through their binkies, looking at books (Gordon still sporting a smudge of food on his cheek), and simply being privy to the obvious love these three have for each other, makes me smile.

When Doug showed me this, he said, "Too bad the go-down didn't go that smoothly."

TWO hours later, after 12:30 AM, the boys finally fell asleep.

Doug felt like a father bear in a cave, with two rolly-polly cubs crawling all over him. Can you imagine? Two more hours of chatting, playing, crawling and rolling.

The boys have never stayed up that late. Doug is one awesome Papa Bear to go the distance with them. I might have lost my mind after midnight.


He said he woke at 7AM to two bright-eyed cubs sitting side by side, smiling at him.

They camped by this small stream and in the morning, Doug stepped outside the tent to check on breakfast. When he stepped in again, Gordy was gone. Trying to stay calm, he surveyed the stream first, and the surrounding tents, but no Gordon.

Just when he was about to alert the others, he saw our good friend, who also happens to be the Bishop of our congregation, walking towards him, with Gordon in his arms. Our friend caught sight of Gordy making a beeline for the campfire area (maybe he smelled breakfast cooking) - still wearing his fuzzy striped pajamas, binky in his mouth, toting his blanket behind him. He wished he'd had his camera.

I would say it was a success. All things considered.

Wouldn't you?


  1. I'm not surprised the boys couldn't sleep, with all the fun action going on outside (from the sound of it), ;-). Sounds like a great time they were having -- and the location is just wonderful (I miss the Rockies, what a wonderful place).

    So long,

  2. Brave man you got there. ;) great trip!

  3. Those little guys are so precious! What darling cuties. I loved hearing their little toddler voices. I am laughing about when they finally fell asleep...12:30! Your husband is a great sport indeed.

    What a beautiful, green location. Those pics of your guys together climbing the fence and sitting in their lawn chairs are so sweet. It's a good thing to have a twin.

  4. I just wanted to come back and mention how much adoration I heard in your husband's voice. He loves those boys! I'm still smilin' about the "3 hot dogs".

  5. That's hilarious!! Your kiddos are super cute. :) WAY TO GO DOUG!

  6. I loved that video!! Don't you just love kids? When they get an idea in their minds they can't forget about it.....the mowing is what I'm referring to. What sweeties....all 3 of them!

  7. lovely photos, those boys are adorable. And what a fun papa!

  8. Oh, Cath, I think I just fell in love with your boys. I actually got tears in my eyes. I can't believe that I'll never have little buddies that age again. What a treasure that video is!

  9. Corinna - ah yes, you heard the ruckus outside the tent. Apparently it took until the wee hours of the morning to settle most of those boys down. Lots of fun!

    Knit1,Knit2 - Agreed. Definitely brave. Sidenote: Loving Kate's shawl (on your blog). Are you going to tackle that one? Very cute. And you've got the talent.

    Anne Marie - Oh, you caught all the nuance."It's good to have a twin." Yes indeed. And the "3 hot dogs." I know - so funny. Got your note. I will respond in the next day or so. I'm just getting back in town and need to check our calendar, but of course, I would love to see you!

    Mary - Doug hasn't seen this post yet. He'll appreciate your shout out. xo

    Michelle - Yes, we call it the broken record. Happens often in conversation. Kids really are the best. And seeing your three little ones last weekend was such a delight. They are all so cute and sweet. They have a good mama. xo

    Melissa - Sure love you.

    Kerri - Hard for me to think they're our last too. And we never get that littleness back. Their purity makes me happy. Loved your last summer post. So fun to get a better feel for your family. Hoping you are well.

  10. Doug is a super hero. It is a rare man who would camp with not one, but two toddlers on their first crib-less outing.

    We went to Neil Davies' reception tonight and had a mini Fairfax Ward reunion. Brother McCoy talked about you and Doug. How blessed were we to be in such a wonderful ward?

  11. Candice! What luck - a mini Fairfax reunion. I wish we could have been there! I was just getting back in town and we couldn't swing it but I've had Neil's picture on our fridge all month. Blessed we were - to be sure! I love your blog. Just added it to my sidebar so I can keep better tabs on you my friend. xo

  12. Wow!! That was ambitious of Doug and it looked like it paid off! Those boys are so cute in that video and clearly having a great time! I love that they are making those fun memories!!

  13. Doug is a brave man. Matt is taking our older two camping for their first adventure at the end of the month. I hope his is a smooth as Doug's trip. P.S. He is NOT taking our 2 year old, not brave enough.

  14. Way to go Doug! Eliot has yet to take Mitchell on a Father/Son camp out. Great to see you over the weekend. Have a great week!

  15. I remember last year when Neil ambitiously took the boys camping while I was at Youth Conference. I uttered many of the same sentiments. "Camping? Are you sure?" They loved it, just like it appears your boys did too. That is the beginning of some really fun times together. I think it will be fun as they get older for all the fathers and sons in our family to do some outings.

  16. Bonus points for Doug. That's just great that he's so brave!


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