Our Joyful Weekend in the Woods

Pinecones, raccoons, squirrels, moths, stick bugs, and saw palmetto…these things hold a special meaning to me. Every year, when my husband and I join many of our family members on our annual camping trip, we encounter these beautiful things. They always remind me of the magical time we all have during these yearly adventures.

This year, we stayed in cozy cabins at Jonathan Dickinson State Park. We stayed with my in-laws who are the most wonderful and special people in the world. They are so loving and generous…truly the perfect parents. We were also joined by my husband’s three awesome brothers, their amazing wives/girlfriends, and their wonderful children. It’s a great bunch of people who all share many similarities, including their wacky sense of humor. They are so fun to be around.

During this camping trip, I could feel how happy everyone was to be together. We are all so similar in our love for one another and in our love for the outdoors. It’s a great feeling to be around a large group of people who have so much in common. I really feel a sense of family when we’re all together.

One of my favorite things about our annual camping trips is that Dylan and Stella get to be a part of them from their first year of life. This was Dylan’s third trip and Stella’s very first. To grow up with this special family tradition is truly remarkable. I remember, last year, Shaun’s father told us all that he wants us to keep this tradition alive for the rest of our lives. I will never forget that he said that…I don’t think anyone will. I’m sure that we will never stop these special trips because of the joy that they inspire.

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Something unexpected – A full moon drum circle…

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Can’t wait for next year’s camping trip!

Here Comes Halloween…

We had an amazing Halloween! Dylan and Stella spent the morning trick-or-treating around their school.

I loved watching Stella go from class to class, watching everything around her while hidden under her owl poncho.

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It must have been a very exciting and exhausting experience for Stella as she fell asleep before the group had finished collecting treats.

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I also loved watching Dylan and his friends go from class to class with their treat buckets. Dylan was so giddy as he went from class to class.

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Most of all, I felt grateful that I was able to participate in their school festivities. It is one of the most special aspects of working at my school and being a parent!

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Later, we met at my mom’s house for night time trick-or-treating. My mom and Stepdad, Ray were so smitten with Stella!

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My mom made a beautiful cat! She looked so pretty and excited in her costume. I think my sister should have dressed up as a cat as well…she is just like one.

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But she did make a cute ladybug. Look at that Minion…I love his expression!

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I like this special moment my mom captured.

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This was the first time that the kids have trick-or-treated through a neighborhood and the first time in years for Shaun and I. It was such an amazing experience. The kids were joyful as they ran from house to house, collecting treats, thanking the treat givers, and running to the next house.

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What a Happy Halloween!!!