The Rantings - For Everyone

So Excited!!!

Before we get started: Did you notice the change?!? 

If you’ve been here before, you’ll notice that the theme has been updated! I was starting to become bored with the old one and just wasn’t finding inspiration in it. So, after saving this one over a month ago as an option, I finally just took the plunge and did it! Glad I did too, because I realized that there’s some things I need to work on updating – so that’s mostly what I’ve been up to and you’ll probably notice little changes over the coming days.

But now, onto the reason for this post…


I’m so excited!!! Like giddy and restless kind of excited. It’s kinda exciting ūüėČ

I’m excited for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, 3 out of 5 of the kids are going away for a couple weeks. I’m super excited about it because 4 boys is a lot of work – like, a lot of work. They have a lot of energy and they all like being near each other, but can’t stand each other, so it’s been a lot of playfighting and arguing and “It wasn’t me, It was him“‘s. My brain and body could definitely use the break!

Part of the major excitement surrounding getting rid of the kids is getting to drive them out to their Dad’s. He lives about 2 1/2 hours away, so to drop them off is an almost 5 hour trip. Most of the time we try to work out dropping them off halfway. But, The Boyfriend and I have been desperate to take a long highway trip in the rental truck that we got after the van was stolen.

We hate that we love this thing so much. When we got our van, it was my dream vehicle. He wanted something sportier, but partially practicality and partially because he likes to make dreams come true, we got the van. And she’s “our baby” and we love her. But… this truck is pretty darn incredible.

I hate that I like a truck. I am not a truck person. However, driving this thing is amazing! I’m in love with the digital speedometer (something I never thought I’d enjoy, but really use a lot through school zones – as I have a tendency to go too slow through them), there is a row of three seats in the front (which I really love for the kids and because I’ve always dreamed of sitting cuddled up next to my lover on long drives), and the thing drives beautifully. Responsive, fast, powerful.

Then, The Boyfriend has two nights off. Works two nights and then begins his week-long holiday. I am so excited! To the point where it’s the only thing we have talked about for days. Every time I ask him to, “Tell me something interesting“, his first response is, “Almost holidays!!!“. And we’ll be down 3 kids for his holidays! Did I tell you yet, I’m totally super excited!!!

We don’t really have any plans for the holiday. He really wants to do camping again, just me and him and the kids that will be here – Carter’s really wanting to go again too. I’ve told him I’m definitely down, but who knows if we’ll get up that kind of energy. He also really wants to go for a drive to the mountains and has spent a huge majority of his time looking at maps to see what catches his interest. His Dad is also in town for part of his holidays, so there will be lots of family time ahead of us.

I imagine that it won’t be much of a relaxing week, but it’ll be great to have him around and especially in my bed every night!

The Rantings - For Everyone

One Hell of a Week

Let me just start by telling you, this has been one hell of a week…

We’ll start with camping. The drive out there seemed to take forever and I was absolutely shocked at how well The Boyfriend did considering he had worked the night before and hadn’t gotten any sleep yet. It took us longer than we had hoped to get out of town, but we kinda figured that would happen. The older three kids ended up staying at friends’ houses, so we only had to take the younger two boys with us – which meant that our van had tons of room for all the stuff.

The drive into Crescent Falls, down a windy gravel road that looked as if it was tearing away at the edges, had both Carter and I gripping onto our seats and he was frantically telling Daddy that he didn’t like “this“. It took us a bit to find where the family had begun setting up the campsite and both Carter and I felt great relief when the van finally came to a stop.

It took awhile to get everything all set up – we had two tents to get assembled, air mattresses and an inflatable pool (which made the most awesome playpen for Cazzwell) and getting the fire going while we were all distracted by the beautiful spot we had picked out – it was a few hours before we finally got to set out our camping chairs and sit around the fire, ready to eat the corn on the cob and hamburgers we had to cook in creative ways since a few bags had been left behind.

The night seemed to go on forever. We stayed up into the wee hours of the night, until the sky was finally dark and there wasn’t a space in it without stars. I gripped onto The Boyfriend tightly and breathed through the fear. He said, “When you’re ready to go to the tent, just let me know” and I responded, “You will not hear me say I am ready to go to the tent, so you just let me know!“.

I was most surprised at how easily I fell asleep. The water was incredibly loud and you could hear all sorts of bugs and creatures making chirping noises. It was also freezing cold – I was wearing two sweaters, two pairs of pants, and slept with two blankets on and was still cold. But tucked in between The Boyfriend and Carter on one side and Cazzwell on the other, their rhythmic breathing and combined heat – not to mention the little solar light that was placed outside our tent flashing in a way that reminded me of an alarm clock – I ended up falling asleep within no time. I woke up a couple times during the night, but didn’t have any problems falling back asleep.

The morning was probably my favorite time. The Boyfriend got up with the kids and let me stay sleeping in the tent, as the sun rose and the fire was started and everyone began waking up. By the time he came to wake me up for breakfast, I felt utterly refreshed and was absolutely surprised that I walked out of the tent with a smile on my face!

It wasn’t long before we were packing up to head home. The whole thing just whizzed by us. We had hardly had a chance to really enjoy anything and The Boyfriend was incredibly upset that we hadn’t gotten to go out and explore once. Packing up the camp was super easy and we were all really excited to be back on the road. I even got to drive a huge part of the way back home and everyone in the car fell asleep – which made me feel like a great driver. We got home, we were exhausted!!!

We unpacked what needed to be unpacked from the van right away, left the rest and went to bed. Sleep came so easily for all of us and it was a deep sleep. The kids had school the next morning and The Boyfriend woke up to get everyone out the door. He looks out the back window and realizes the van isn’t there. Ensue panic…

I get woken up and after he’s already called the cops to report the van missing, I realize that my laptop isn’t where I left it. Nor is my phone. And then I remember that my brand new camera, that we had just bought for camping, was plugged into the laptop and is also nowhere to be found. The cops get called again for an update and then insurance and car rental place and just ugh…

Honestly, I’ve never been so glad that absolutely all of that stuff is entirely in The Boyfriend’s name, because he had to make all the phone calls and deal with all the people. We had insurance come over to take statements from both of us and that has been a bit of gong show, but for the most part, I’ve just had to sit back and see what happens. However, the poor Boyfriend…

They found our van after a week of it being missing. From what we know so far, everything that was in it when it went missing is still in it. Now it’s spending time getting fixed up and re-keyed (which is surprisingly expensive and thankfully, since they came into our house and took the key, is likely covered by insurance), but it’ll probably be at least a week before we get it back.

It took me a few nights to sleep at home afterwards, since it was clear that they had come inside the house. Then it took me even longer to finally start sleeping up in my room again. However, I’m still having a hard time sleeping at night and get my best sleep in the morning, once every one is awake.

To make this last week more stressful, school is out now…

The Rantings - For Everyone

The Anxiety from the Idea of Camping

When I was a kid, I had a few camping experiences that turned me off of camping altogether.

There was an earwig in the tent the first time I ever slept in one. Someone told the kids they crawled into your ears. I hated tents. The first time I went camping, for real camping, was the first time I ever spent a huge chunk of time away from my parents – in another province across the country with a bunch of strangers, half of whom spoke French, a language that is still utterly foreign to me.

We had to canoe to the tiny island we were sleeping on. I had burnt my finger on a woodburner and was terribly miserable. Plus, I was in a cabin with a bunch of girls who basically hated my guts, so sleeping in the tent full of them, scared of the possibility of earwigs, sucked!!! Then, I had to pee desperately, but someone had said that there were Sasquatch on this island and I swore I saw one (chances are, ¬†it was just another camper going pee…), so I stayed in my tent until the sun came up holding my pee in, crying, while everyone else slept soundly. I woke up the next morning to really bad sunburn on my nose…

My next and last camping experience really put the nail in the coffin.

I’d been at the same school for about three years (the longest I ever stayed at one school) and had been the butt of some pretty harsh bullying. I remember being called “bra-lady” because someone had seen my sports bra in gym class. I remember a lot of getting picked on because of how skinny I was – lots of “do you ever eat?” and “she must throw it all up afterwards” and “I can see your bones! It’s gross!“. And the girls were especially mean to me, not entirely sure why. So, the idea of spending 3 days on a mountaintop with these people was already unappealing.

We arrived and had to take a rickety carriage ride up the side of a steep mountain pulled by two huge and terrifying Clydesdales. They made me, and me alone, sit up front with the old man who laughed when I squeaked as the seat rattled beneath me. We had to walk the remainder of the way up this mountainside to get to the main camping area.

Wooden platforms covered in tarp is how we slept. There was a good six inches between the top of the platform and the bottom of the tarp and the mosquitoes were out of control. The water we drank was warm and the only food I ate the whole time we were there was bread, because the idea of beans totally grosses me out. The whole group that I bunked with were some of my worst bullies and picked on me for every reason they could possibly find.

We had two activities we were allowed to do during the day. Ride horses or go mountain biking. I desperately wanted to ride the horses – there weren’t enough of them, I was too afraid. So, I go mountain biking, but no one tells me that the brakes work differently on a mountain bike. I don’t remember how I fell, but I ended up wrapped up in the bike and one of the supervisors had to come and untangle me – in front of everyone!!!

I went home covered in bites and bruises – literally and metaphorically!!!

Ever since, I have basically said, I won’t camp. I don’t like camping. Camping is not for me.

However, The Boyfriend and his family absolutely love camping. They all have very fond memories of camping with very skilled campers. His Mom has been saying for years that she’s going to take us out camping – she knows how to do it right – she assures me that all these problems I’ve had in the past won’t exist when we go camping, because she’ll make sure I have a great time. She’s never been wrong!

Today, we’re up there visiting and the camping plan begins. Most years, it begins and everyone gets real excitement but then we all realize the burden of our lives and it just gets pushed back another year. But this year, it began, everyone got real excited and then, everyone realized how possible it was. For the first time, it’s possible.

And… Queue panic attack…

I have an issue with the vastness of space. The unknowns of the universe. 

The first time I looked at the moon through a telescope, I got dizzy and lightheaded and then I got scared – really scared. When I see northern lights, I panic about how fast they are moving and I can feel the earth rotate beneath me. When we went out to utter darkness to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower, I couldn’t get out of the van because I was frozen in the fear.

I don’t want to have another bad camping experience.

I don’t want to be sitting in the tent in the middle of the night, under the vastness of space, heart racing, palms sweating, unable to sleep, surrounded by people and yet being entirely alone! I don’t want to be pestering an exhausted camper to stay awake with me when the irrational anxiety hits after the fire has burnt out…

I want to do it. I want to go camping so bad and have this experience that everyone insists is possible!

But, the idea of it… The thought of it… Absolutely terrifies me…