Thursday, September 9, 2010


It's a bit belated, but I felt like I should blog some camping pictures and tales. Several weeks ago we headed up to the Wisconsin Dells on a Friday, roughly a four hour drive from Highwood. Our intention was to stay at Mirror Lake, but the campsites were already full, so we were directed to the Rocky Arbor State Park a few miles away.

We packed for car camping. A tent, some camping chairs, cooler, camp stove, toys, and apparently way too little bug spray. I'm not sure anything short of biohazard body suits would have saved us from the treachery awaiting us.

It wasn't immediately clear that our trip was a bit mosquito doomed. It started with this scene, Thomas pitching our awesome, open tent, and Eden totally having a blast:

She LOVED the tent. We took her pack-n-play and a blow up mattress. She spent a ton of time inside
reading books and watching the trees above. The weather was great, warm with a good breeze.
We realized quickly on the first day that when camping with a toddler, altering your expectations is one of the most important things. We managed to hike the trail with her jogging stroller, but there were definitely some rough spots where I wondered if we would make it. Keeping her content was not as difficult as I had expected. There were lots of rocks, leaves, and insects to explore, but her parents got BORED. I think we're used to hiking more, canooing, staying up late with friends, etc.. The combination of having a toddler and going by ourselves meant those things were very limited.
For dinner we pre-made a batch of our favorite chili, and it was delicious. It made me really miss Nacogdoches, our church friends, and our fire pit. Thomas made a fire while I put Eden down (with no fussing!) and we roasted marshmallows.

Our first night of sleep was very pleasant. We were able to leave the rain  flap off and sleep under the stars. Eden slept from 9pm - 8am. It was extraordinarily relaxing.

The mosquitos were pretty bad the first day, but all in all, it was very enjoyable.

The second day we spent the entire morning procuring more bug spray and trying to find a swimming spot.. Eventually we made it to Mirror Lake, which was relatively mosquito free and had a couple of good hours.
Eden loved being in the lake and building sand castles. When we got back, we did a bit more hiking/climbing, which was nerve wrecking for me while it was happening (heights+toddlers), but seemed fun after it was over. That's about the time the mosquitos became unbearably thick. We ended up driving our cooler and chairs to the front of the park where there was a small playground and some grills. We had hotdogs with leftover chili and let Eden play for a few hours until bedtime, when we were forced to got back to the mosquito den that was our campsite.

That night we had to use the rain flap so there were no stars or breeze and it was really stuffy. At 5:30am a thunderstorm hit that woke up Eden. At 7am we gave up trying to get her to sleep again and packed everything up in the rain and headed out. Thomas is a saint because he did most of the work while Eden and I stayed in the car. We all had at least a dozen mosquito bites by this time.

Here's what the mood looked like:

We headed to Paul Bunyan's Breakfast Buffet, got a meal indoors with no bugs, and then headed to Madison, WI for a little vacation from our vacation :). I LOVED Madison. It was a lot like Austin. Cute shops, great organic/hippie/ethnic cafes, and lots of people watching.

I have a tendency to look back on things with rose colored glasses, so I would probably say it was a fairly enjoyable experience that I would easily agree to doing again. Luckily, I have a husband who knows my heart and got me this souvenir to remind me of my true feelings:

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cookie Faced

The beginning of the semester has definitely been busy for Thomas (I will get him to write a post soon on his schedule), but it has actually been pretty busy for me too. Trinity Wives Fellowship has created a subdivision called Trinity Moms Ministry, which is very exciting. I have been doing the flyers/brochures for all of the events, of which there are a lot! Playgroups, prayer meetings, informational talks, baby and me support groups, and moms night out. We had a kick off party the first week to introduce the new events and get to know new moms on campus. It was definitely weird being considered one of the older members (very few people come in January like we did and it creates a weird fit). It's hard for me to get out of my box and relax while socializing at this type of event, luckily I got to use one of my better skills which is bringing the food :). I made Chocolate covered marshmallow cookies and had a few left over.

So I brought them home. Thomas had a few and there was one left.

Somebody around here makes the BEST faces when eating chocolate cookies:

And here are a few from a cookie event in June that are too good not to post.....

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ren Fest Recap

We headed to the Bristol Renaissance Fair this weekend. It is very similar to the Texas Renaissance Fair, but just a bit less, mmm, passionate. It is much closer for us, only 30 minutes away, along the Wisconsin/Illinois border. Unlike camping, this was an activity that was more fun with a toddler. We dressed up a bit. I wore some blue, gypsy wrap pants, funky jewelry, and some glittery makeup. Thomas wore a celtic pirate outfit. Eden was a little pixie.

It was perfect weather- high 60s, low 70s and very sunny. As always, there were a lot of fun shows. We caught Barely Balanced Acrobatic Daredevils, Gypsy Geoff the Flame Juggler, and Jousting. I also took Eden on a few rides. This is one place where there were a LOT of under age 2 kid friendly rides. Our favorite was the pony!

This was actually her second round and she's a bit less excited, but still very happy. She loved petting the ponies after the ride was over.

Eden loved all the people in costume, even the large troll who wanted to eat her (until he noticed her boogers).

So, yeah, boogers. We only made it 3 days into September without getting sick. Here's hoping (and praying a lot) that our plan of action keeps this cold quick and mild!