Our family acquired a fifth wheel camper in 2017, and we have continued to camp regularly since Liam was a baby. One of our favorite parks to visit it Chester Frost Park in Chattanooga, Tennessee. My mother and father-in-law also live in Chattanooga, so we really enjoy getting to spend time with them at a park, which is just two miles away from their house.
When Chris and I first got married, we had quite the time blending our children into one functional family. I had two children who had lived with just me until they were in 6th and 9th grades, and Chris had a 3rd grader. Suddenly after a decade of being single, I brought a man home, got engaged, became pregnant, and got married. Our girls were flung into an instant family, and I wish I could say that it was an easy transition for us all, but even Bailey, Chris’ daughter struggled. Usually, she is so laid back. She had been the only child until she was nine, and she awoke one day as the youngest of three. Then, by the end of that year, she was the third child of four. Today, she is the fourth child of five.
We took our children to a therapist, and Chris and I worked with couples counseling for the first two years too because we needed the support helping our children bond with us and each other. Sometimes, I think that God helped Christ come up with the two ideas he had to help with the bonding.
He brought home about twenty chickens one Saturday, which I loved since I always raised chickens as a little girl. Our girls, however, had never reared poultry. To our surprise, Bailey and Sophia became the chicken whisperers. They quickly found common ground with our hens, roosters, and turkeys. They didn’t even seem to argue as much while sharing a room.
Next, Chris took us all, even baby Liam, to a Facebook Marketplace hook up. (I am laughing at that choice of words. 🙂 We had a date with a Byron couple to look at their fifth wheel camper. It had a four bed bunk house, which would give us enough space to have all four girls in the bunks. Liam sleeps on the couch most of the time, so a good sofa is all he needs.
We paid cash for that camper Spring 2017, and I began to plan our first trip. We’ve camped all over Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee so far. I need to branch out to other states, but so far, I do not feel we have time to spend more than a few hours in the truck for a trip. Traveling with a baby or a toddler limits the time we should and can spend inside the truck.
We’ve camped together as a family now for four years, and our children have successfully bonded. Sophia and Bailey put in to stay longer at Chester Frost this trip. I did love the lazy, quiet time on the lake this time. I usually have an itinerary and plans, but this trip, we just did what we wanted. We played outside, watched the deer, and visited with Mamaw and Papaw (my mother and father-in-law).
I had the most fun, watching Liam play in the mud of the dried lake bed.
Bailey fished with Papaw, and she and Sophia took walks and escaped the campsite as often as we would let them. I must admit that our camping trips really do improve my marriage too!
Don’t tell my husband about this, but getting him to come home before dark or on the weekends is HARD. He is such a dedicated business owner and provider. He works so hard for each of us, and he spends so much time working on the farm or at S & S FAB and Welding, LLC. I am always so impressed with his success and dedication.
When I beg him for quality time, he often laughs at me, pats me on the behind, and drives away. However, he never seems to mind taking off for a camping trip! We get to spend quality time with each other and the kids while getting out of the house for a few days or a week. I have enjoyed our trips so much more than I ever imagined I would. In fact, I can’t wait to retire in 15 years so we can camp more!