I absolutely love how can I be partying with these fabulous ladies one night (in a VIP backstage lounge ten feet from a concert stage, wearing a sequined top and skinny jeans and (gasp) mascara):
And thirty-six hours later be hanging out with with these fabulous men (in the middle of the Frio River, wearing shorts and a tshirt and wet hair (after a certain six-year-old convinced me to go swimming. It was not warm)) at our church's family retreat:
You may remember family camp from last year (couple of thought on that post: The kids look younger, I look skinner, the van looks cleaner, all true statements). Last year the theme was par-tay all night. Fortunately for everyone, the kids learned to sleep this year. We all went to bed around ten and woke up around 7:30, just in time for breakfast, and there were no shenanigans after lights out. This made a huge difference in everyone's general mood and fun-level. I mean, Wes melted into a puddle of woe on the floor during the sing-a-long because someone dared offer him a premade s'more instead of (in addition to?) letting him make his own, but at least *I* was well rested, which meant I didn't spend Sunday morning threatening them with bodily harm while the rest of our friends lovingly sang "We Gather Together" in the outdoor chapel.
Speaking of s'mores, they were delicious as always. Even more delicious when eaten around a campfire and singing, which was/is my absolute favorite part of the retreat (in addition to all the delicious food, which goes without saying).
The other best part (They are all best parts) is that the kids had a TON of freedom, which menas they had a TON of FUN. Wes spent the entire forty-eight hours on his scooter, making zippy laps around the Lodge, for example. Charlie divided his time between scootering, collecting rocks, and writing in the journal he brought along. And all that time I was SITTING IN A CHAIR DRINKING ICED TEA AND TALKING TO MY FRIENDS (and reminding James to stay close, naturally). You guys, it was a vacation that was actually a vacation. COOL IDEA.
We have wonderful friends. Friends who play with James so we can sit down, friends who made a secret pot of Starbucks coffee and topped off my cup whenever it was low at breakfast, friends who go swimming in freezing water, friends who will sit in the sun and talk while the babies nap, friends who laugh, friends who sing. That, is the real "best part", if I had to choose just one.
There was also very little pressure to maintain even the most basic standards of personal hygiene, so you KNOW I was all over that.
We slammed head-on back into the real world tonight. Wes took a twenty minute power-nap in the car and now can't fall asleep for the night, Ryan is replacing the brakes on the van, which started making a funky noise while we were away, and the laundry has reached Biblical proportions. So I should probably go do something about that. While I daydream about next year.