This past weekend, we made a spur-of-the-moment decision to take the kids camping. On Friday, I had taken the kids to a park in town for a picnic lunch. Around 1:00 pm, I sent a text message to my friend (who was camping at the time) to ask if there were any free campsites near them. She texted me back that there was an empty site next to them, and even offered to go reserve it for us. Marcus and I had gone back and forth about spending the weekend at Oak Mountain, and it was pretty much left up to whether I had the energy to get the camping stuff together, load up the car, and get the kids and me out to the site before dusk. (Marcus wouldn't be off work until after dark.) I decided when I got my friend's text that I was up for it, so I called Marcus and took the kids home to get ready.
A very busy four hours later, the kids and I were bathed, packed, and headed for Oak Mountain State Park. Our friends helped me get the tent up and the car unloaded, since my energy was spent just getting everything there. When Marcus arrived, we were all sitting around the fire enjoying hot dogs and getting ready to roast marshmallows. The weather was perfect all weekend: 40's/50's at night and 70's during the day. It got warm enough on Saturday that the boys stripped down to their undies and played in the lake for a couple of hours. We did a little hiking and exploring as well, and even got to watch a hawk fly from tree to tree on the hunt for a while. There was a fallen log near our campsite, and the boys loved testing out their balance by seeing how fast they could walk the length of it.
On Sunday morning, we reluctantly broke camp and headed back to "civilized" life. All the while we were packing up the car, I kept thinking that there isn't anything we do as a family that allows us to enjoy life and each other more than spending the whole weekend in the great outdoors (when the weather is nice, of course :). I really hope there is another weekend of good weather before winter hits so we can camp one more time this year.