My last post was mostly whining about how overwhelming daily life has been, and how anything "extra" nearly feels impossible.
So, what did we do?
We decided to go camping this past weekend.
I must admit I was skeptical when my husband suggested it.
We had hoped to have one more family weekend in the trailer, BEFORE I broke my leg, but I didn't expect we would do it now, especially this late in the year.
I was doubtful that we could pull it off. After all, packing, preparing, and functioning during a camping trip (and cleaning up after it) generally falls largely on the mom in this house.
We were given the chance to have family pictures in the City taken on Friday, and we had other things to do in the city on Sunday so we decided to park our trailer in a small campground on the outskirts of the City.
It was a "chips all in" move.
I figured this attempt at a weekend get away would either be the final nail in the coffin that held our sanity. I feared that that it might be the end of us...
but I also had a shred of hope that it might be just what we needed.
Make it or break it.
It was cold. We had an odd array of clothing packed.
...and we picked up most of what we needed for food (and every other essential that was forgotten) in the City.
It turned out to be exactly what we needed.
I suspect a luxurious warm hotel suite would have been lovely too...
but this is vacationing on the cheap with a family of seven.
At the end of the day it's not about the accommodations, it was about the time together as a family outside of our monotonous routine and ordinary location.
We have only had family pictures done a couple of times over the years and generally they have always included crying babies and beligerant toddlers...and a lot of threats and bribery. We were overdue for another family pic, that included all our family members.
This time was so different. Maybe because the kids were older, or maybe because we told them we'd take them to a movie if they cooperated but we actually had fun with it. I cannot wait to see the finished pictures! Our photographer is amazing.
This weekend we posed for the camera, took the kids to a movie, ate out a couple times (in actual restaurants), spent some tokens playing games at "Ruckers", did some winter gear shopping, met with our church on Sunday, and had a Thanksgiving lunch with a whole bunch of extended family.
Lot's of little things that are a treat for us country bumpkins. Camping in the city has it's non-camping perks.
On Saturday afternoon, while seeking some warmer indoor activity, we ventured over to a First Nations "heritage visitor center". There wasn't all that much happening on that particular day there, but we did learn how to construct a teepee.
We happened to have our camera along for this outing.
This girl loves animals, even fake ones.
It's actually fun (most of the time) to cram into our trailer, it reminds me of the adventures, road trips, and the many months we spent living in it in Mexico. A little bit of cozy, chaotic nostalgia.
Riding through Target in style. Replacing ripped, outgrown, and worn out snow pants, boots, and , mitts before the snow flies.
One of my favorite parts of the weekend was eating at a very authentic Chinese restaurant. It's like a portal to China. Our food had just begun to arrive when my hubby snapped these phone pics, an hour later the table was pretty trashed. We all sipped our green tea, while gorging ourselves on a variety of delicious food.
I always thought I didn't care for Chinese food, because all I'd really experienced was the Canadianized version of it. That's like saying you don't like Mexican after eating at Taco Bell.
It turns out I love real Chinese food. Especially the spicy green beans. I was considering flying all the way back to China to eat those again but I found them here (only an hour and a half from home).
Despite the glum look in the picture Elijah was thrilled. He was extremely happy to eat real food again.
He was also brave enough to say "Ni Hao" and "xie xie" to the ladies bringing our food.
Our other meals this weekend looked pretty much like this.
We kept it simple. Very simple.
It turns out that this little weekend get away was just what we needed. My hubby, after several weeks of harvest hours, was recharged and reacquainted with his family. The kids enjoyed the time with Dad, and I enjoyed the time being away from home.
Soli Deo Gloria,