Jen’s Summer Bucket List Update

Jen's Summer Bucket List Update

Inspired by my son Nathan, I put together a summer bucket list. I chose 5 things I wanted to do before Labor Day. You know what happens when you write something down and put it “out there”? Well, you can’t get away with not doing it. So I decided to tackle one of the hardest items first – I went camping with my boys.

If you know me at all, you know I don’t camp. I did camp. When I was younger. But I haven’t camped in over 20 years. And for good reasons. I don’t like being dirty and I don’t like being hot (we keep our house at 67/68 degrees year round and it’s glorious). But, my boys LOVE to camp. They don’t mind being dirty and they don’t seem to mind the heat. So for them, I put camping on my summer bucket list.

But there was another reason I decided it was time to go camping with them. When we were on vacation earlier this year, Nathan and I were playing and he turned to me and said, “I love vacation mommy!”.

Wait. What? What was I doing at that moment that compelled him to say that? The reason was simple.

I was playing with him.

Whoa. This hit me hard. What have I been doing the last 6.5 years? Because to me, it has felt like 6 years of constantly pouring into every need of my kids. Often leaving little time for myself. But I don’t think Nate sees it that way.

Because instead of playing basketball with him after we get home from work/school, I’m making dinner.

Because instead of playing a game with him or just getting on the floor to pay legos after dinner, I’m sitting on my phone checking emails.

And instead of going camping with the boys, I choose to stay home.

These aren’t the things I want my boys to remember about me. And while I know I can’t be vacation mommy all the time, I can choose to say YES to my kids. Yes to playing more basketball. Yes to legos. And yes to camping.

So that is just what we did. We packed up the car on Friday afternoon and headed down to the Northern Neck for 2 nights (YES TWO!) of camping.

And it was awesome.

We went to Westmoreland State Park.

It is a little less than 2 hours from northern VA and worth every minute of the drive. Great campsites and amenities. It was a perfect spot.

Dinner Friday was brats with onions and peppers on the grill – YUM!

On Saturday, we went on a long hike which landed us at this beautiful beach, aptly named, Fossil Beach, because you can search for shark teeth.

The rest of the weekend was filled with dirty boys, toads and relaxing by the campfire.

Did I mention it was hot? And buggy? I have no less than 50 mosquito bites.

But it was an awesome weekend. One I will always remember and I think the boys will too.

So glad I said yes.

Dream Big. Live Life.

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